The Brumbies are in unchartered waters with the appointment of co-captains Stephen Moore and Christian Lealiifano on Friday but the pair say it’s up to them to make it work.
Co-captaincy is not an entirely untested structure in Super Rugby – New Zealand’s Chiefs have used joint leaders for the past five seasons – but no Australian teams have ever appointed two captains.
Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham said the decision was debated but ultimately the dual captaincy model proved the “obvious” option.
“It was a decision we thought about for a couple of weeks but the more we looked at it, the more obvious the decision became,” he said.
“It’ll lessen the load on each of the individuals and they’ll complement each other really well in the side.
“Both have the attributes of good leaders and I think together they’re going to be great leaders.”
Moore retained his post from 2015 while Lealiifano has been elevated to the leadership role for the first time, after this week re-signing with the club until 2017.
The move has been made to help the pair lessen their off-field load, sharing promotional responsibilities and Moore said the structure was the best way to progress.
“There’ll be people out there who’ll think it can’t work and it’s up to us to make sure it does,” he said.
“I do think that the concept of co-leadership is the way forward.
“I think leaving it all to one person is not necessarily the best way to do it.”
While Moore has plenty of experience as a captain, having skippered the Wallabies to their first Rugby World Cup final in 12 years last year, he said he would be looking to learn off his long-time teammate.
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“I want to learn as much as I can from him and continue to grow as a leader,” he said.
“I think this structure will really help that happen.”
Lealiifano credits his own appointment to the culture created within the Brumbies over his time in Canberra, moving from Melbourne to begin his Super Rugby career.
“I’ve definitely grown as a person here and I think it’s a credit to the culture here in this organisation (that it) allows young players to grow and have a voice and find their own voice in the group,” he said.
“I think the beauty of this group at the moment is we have two leaders that are open to hearing everyone’s opinion and making the best decision for our team.”
How the new system plays out on the field is yet to be seen but Larkham said it had been discussed.
“That’s the beauty of co-captains, they can speak to the referee at will,” Larkham said.
“On field that’s something we’ve discussed internally and we’ll have our own policy.”