The Sydney Roosters have today named halfback Mitchell Pearce and hooker Jake Friend as co-captains for the 2015 National Rugby League season.
Following the retirement of club legend and former captain Anthony Minichiello, the club was without a captain and coach Trent Robinson was impressed with what he saw in Pearce and Friend.
“Once we picked the four vice-captains behind Mini I thought long and hard about picking a captain, especially with the tradition of single captains,” Robinson told nrl.com.
“With Jake and Mitchell you have two guys who share really common traits. They’re two guys who lead from the front in games and in training. They carry themselves exceptionally with the way they prepare to play.
“Then there are the differences in them. Jake is a hard-nosed Queenslander who doesn’t say much but when he speaks, he gets it right. Pearcey is more of a caring guy who really understands the group and each player and really looks after the group in that respect. I kept looking for one and I kept finding two.
“I was waiting for a leader to come through and they both kept coming through. It became clear after a chat with Mini that these two were the men to lead our club.”
speaking to the NRL, Pearce was very happy with his latest career promotion, coming after 182 games for the club he made his debut for in 2007.
“We caught up with Robbo on Sunday and as you could imagine I was over the moon. It is a special honour and it hasn’t really sunk in too much yet,” Pearce said.
“I’m just really proud and privileged, I have a lot of people to be thankful to for getting me to this point as a player, a person and a leader and I’m really excited for what’s ahead.”
Friend told the NRL he though his shoulder injury would prevent him from being named captain, but was excited by the challenges ahead.
“Robbo made it clear that hopefully the shoulder won’t keep me out for too long and that there’s plenty of the season to come after that. I’ll keep doing what I can while I’m injured and hopefully I’ll be back soon to help the boys out on the field,” Friend said.
“I’m in some pretty good company considering the club’s previous captains and to lead the boys around – we’re a tight-knit group – so it’s something I’ve always dreamed of and I cannot wait for the challenge.”