Harlequins have named second row Stephan Lewies as Club Captain ahead of the 2020/21 Gallagher Premiership and Heineken Champions Cup campaigns, with the Springbok following in the footsteps of legendary captains such as Keith Wood, Will Carling, Jason Leonard, Andre Vos and Chris Robshaw.
Making an instant impact at the South West London Club after arriving ahead of the 2019/20 season, having played Super Rugby for both the Sharks and Lions in South Africa, Lewies was in the starting XV in 19 of his 20 appearances in the Quarters to date.
Lewies, 28, made his Test debut for reigning Rugby World Cup Champions South Africa in a 55-6 victory over Scotland in 2014.
“It’s a massive opportunity – a huge honour,” said Lewies. “It comes with big responsibility but it’s something special and I’m really excited. Never in my wildest dreams when I signed did I think I’d be in this position.
“Gussy gave me a phone call and said he wanted to make me captain. I asked for a few days to reflect on it. It’s a big decision and it has to be best for the team so I made a few phone calls to some of the senior players – DC, Marler, Browny – to get their thoughts. You need those senior players buying into a leader. They’ve been part of this club for a long time. It’s not a one-man job; it’s a team effort.
“They were massively supportive, all three of them, so after speaking to them I had more confidence in the role and I accepted it.”
On following in the footsteps of a rich history of famous Club Captains, Lewies added: “Robbo was an amazing leader and I learned a lot from him. I still look up to him.
“I was a youngster when Andre (Vos) played. Growing up playing for the Springboks, he was someone we all looked up to. They are big shoes to fill in that regard.”
Head of Rugby Paul Gustard said: “Steph has universal respect across the Club and has the ability to relate and communicate with our younger players whilst also having strong relationships with our experienced stars. We are looking forward to seeing the team develop further under Steph.
“I know our fantastic fans will show their appreciation and support for big Steph – our captain, their captain, Harlequins’ captain.”
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now