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Leadership group announced

MARTYN Ridyard will resume his captaincy duties into the 2023 season as head coach Stuart Littler announces his leadership group.

Emmerson Whittel has been awarded the vice-captain role after a top class season in which he won Coaches Player of the Year as well as Player’s Player of the Year in 2023.

Gregg McNally, Deane Meadows and Kian Morgan make up the rest of the leadership group, making for a mix of voices of both experience and youth.

Said Stu:

“We’ve tried to get a blend within our leadership group and not just be all experience; I wanted a younger person’s opinion on things and young thinking.

“I’m trying to create a culture of open mindsets within the group. We’ve got to move with the times as well, and having someone young in there keeps things fresh.”

Stu believes he has more leaders in his squad this year, but wants to build on that and hopefully mould and develop more of them.

“At this stage of pre-season, we’re still a work in progress but we’ve got more leaders in the squad now than we’ve had previously and the aim is to keep growing that internally throughout the season,” he said.

“When required throughout the season, I’ll put other people in positions and give them more responsibility.”

Commenting on the group, Stu emphasised the group’s team mentality as well as their commitment to producing their best on a consistent basis.

“I thought Martyn did a great job last year; he’s an experienced campaigner and he knows how to win big games. He’s a calm, cool head and has set the standard for others to follow,” he said.

“Emmerson, our vice-captain, does a lot of extras in our group. We have markers around extra efforts and he does them consistently week in, week out. He sets standards both on the training pitch and on the field and he’s someone who can really thrive in that role.”

“Gregg is a big voice on the field and when he speaks the lads tend to listen. What we have identified in pre-season, is he’ll help others to the detriment of himself, at times.

“There could be people playing for his position, but he’s happy to go that extra length to help others develop and help our team develop.

“Deane Madows sets standards. He’s always early to training and he challenges people to do extras. He does work on his days off and he’s everything you want and he epitomises leadership.”

“Kian Morgan wants to develop himself as a rugby player but also as a human being. He will ask me and Shez (Brendan Sheridan, assistant coach) what he can be doing to develop.

“He’s just the type of person you want in there. He’s 100% committed in everything he does and that’s the attributes that have got him in the leadership position.”

Squad numbers for the forthcoming 2023 season will be announced shortly.

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