The 29-year-old will take over the leadership duties from teammate Adam Coleman, who was the team’s skipper last season as they came within a whisker of qualifying for their first-ever Super Rugby play-offs.
Coming into his second season with the club and his 11th campaign as a professional, Haylett-Petty will become the Rebels’ sixth captain in franchise history, following in the footsteps of Coleman, Nic Stirzaker, Scott Higginbotham, Gareth Delve, and Stirling Mortlock.
“I’m thrilled about having the opportunity to lead the club for the 2019 season,” Haylett-Petty said in a statement on the club’s website.
“I loved my first year here in Melbourne and I can feel we are building something special with the group we have.
“We have a great leadership group here. The standards and intensity that those guys have been bringing to pre-season has really influenced the behaviours of the entire playing group,” he said.
“This role is coming at a really exciting time for the club; the vibe around the clubhouse is incredible at the moment. It’s feels like we’re on the cusp of something special.
“We know there’s a lot of hard work ahead of us though, but we’re excited to get our season started.”
Congratulations to Dane Haylett- Petty, our 2019 Rebels captain ? pic.twitter.com/TG8rloUYoW
— Melbourne Rebels (@MelbourneRebels) February 7, 2019
Head coach Dave Wessels spoke highly of Haylett-Petty, pointing to his experience and leadership qualities as the key factors behind his decision to appoint the 31-test outside back as skipper.
“Dane was an obvious choice as a captain. Everyone here at the Rebels really values his leadership abilities and I think he will make a great skipper for our side,” he said.
“He’s a great organiser in our back line and is a well-spoken individual, so any message he delivers will be greatly received by the playing group.
“I’m conscious of the fact that we have quite a lot of players with captaincy experience, both at Super Rugby and international level.
“That’s a real positive for us; having plenty of leaders who can drive change within the organisation. Dane is wise enough to lean on those guys for advice when he sees fit.”
Haylett-Petty’s first match as Rebels captain will come next Friday, when they open their Super Rugby campaign against the Brumbies at GIO Stadium in Canberra.
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