Despite his age Hugh is up for the responsibility

The RaboDirect Rebel’s are pleased to announce, as part of the clubs leadership succession plan, joint Vice-Captains for the upcoming FxPro Super Rugby season.

Hugh Pyle, one of the clubs developing leaders, and Gareth Delve, Vice-Captain in the Rebels’ inaugural year, will share the position in 2012.

Prior to joining the Rebels, Delve had previously captained Gloucester in the English Premiership and in 2011 became the first non-Australian to captain an Australian side in Super Rugby (Round 9 v Highlanders).

Delve is looking forward to guiding Pyle through the next 12 months: “I am fortunate to have gained some great experience throughout my career and learned off some terrific leaders.  I thoroughly enjoyed my experience as Vice-Captain and I am honoured that the club have chosen to retain me in this role.

“It is an exciting time to be a part of the Rebels and Hugh Pyle is an impressive young man.  I look forward to guiding Hugh, while allowing him to develop his own style of leadership.  We are both fortunate to have Stirling Mortlock as our Captain and we look forward to providing him all of the necessary support.”

Pyle had no previous Super Rugby experience before joining the Rebels, but after a terrific 2011 season, he was named in the Wallabies post-season training squad. It has been a meteoric rise to date for the young Lock and Pyle admits it has been a little surreal.

“Initially, I was just happy to be playing Super Rugby and was focused on securing a spot in the starting 15,” said Pyle. “With the help of the coaching staff and my teammates, I managed to have a solid 2011.  The fact the club has been willing to put so much faith in me is very humbling and I am just focused on repaying that faith.

“I honestly do not believe I would be in this position without the support of my teammates.  We are blessed with a number of strong leaders at the club and it is their guidance that has helped me develop.  It is a real privilege to have Gareth and Stirling at my side and I will certainly be turning to both for advice throughout the year.”

RaboDirect Rebels Head Coach Damien Hill said today he is thrilled with his new look leadership team.

“Having such high quality individuals in this position is very encouraging, especially as we prepare to face the many challenges ahead,” said Hill. “I am confident that with Gareth and Stirling’s guidance, Hugh will accelerate his development as a future leader of our club. Both players thoroughly deserve this honour and I am very pleased to see Hugh develop his skills under players of Gareth’s and Stirling’s  calibre, he is in very good hands.”