The Crusaders have announced that lock Scott Barrett will captain the team as they look to defend their Super Rugby title in 2020.
Crusaders coach Scott Robertson has entrusted Barrett with taking over the role from Sam Whitelock, who will be on a short-term contract in Japan next year before returning to Christchurch in 2021.
‘Scott has a phenomenal work ethic, and produces consistent performances for the Crusaders,’ Robertson said in a statement. ‘He’s well respected by his teammates, as well as the coaching and management group, has great character and helps drive our team culture. So we see him as a natural fit to captain the side and congratulate Scooter on this exciting opportunity.’
Experienced hooker Codie Taylor, centre Jack Goodhue and last season’s vice-captain Whetukamokamo Douglas were other candidates for the captaincy.
Barrett was named as the Crusaders’ Player of the Year for 2019 after they won their third successive Super Rugby title – 10th overall – in July.
The 25-year-old will have a tough task of leading a team stripped of senior players. Kieran Read is joined by veteran prop Owen Franks, centres Ryan Crotty and Tim Bateman and loose forwards Matt Todd and Jordan Taufua in departing the club this year.
The Crusaders could also be forced into a late coaching reshuffle should Robertson be appointed as the new All Blacks head coach.
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