Warrington Wolves have named Michael Monaghan and Ben Westwood as club captains ahead of the 2014 season.
The pair will share the role taking over the responsibilities from former captain Adrian Morley, now with Salford Red Devils.
Back rower Ben marked his testimonial year with the Warrington club last season cementing himself as a firm fans’ favourite. The current England International is renowned for his phenomenal work rate in both attack and defence, and his never say die attitude.
This season will be Michael’s seventh in primrose and blue having established himself as a thinker of the game he often offers as much guidance off the pitch as he does on it.
On selecting his captain pairing head of coaching and rugby Tony Smith said: “Both are very highly respected players within our group. They both bring something a little different to the table in terms of leadership and do it in different ways but I think they complement each other very well. It’s an opportunity for both of them to lead the way and share some of their experiences and wisdom within our group. They are going to be heavily supported by a number of other players who show great leadership. We are making them our club captains but it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be our on-field captains on a weekly basis; we have a number of candidates who may fill that role at different stages but they are certainly seen as our two ambassadors and role models for the younger people within the club. They are the ones we feel best represent the qualities that we are looking for in the leadership of our crew.”
Ben said on his appointment and teaming up with Michael: “It’s an absolute honour for me and I’m sure it is for Mike too. It’s something that I’ve thought about over the last few years so I’m over the moon to be able to get this chance. It’s a chance to lead the boys and I’m looking forward to the challenge. We’ve got a team full of leaders and Tony could have chosen any one of us. I’ll be looking for some help off them and, hopefully, together as a team we’ll come good. I’ve worked with a few captains over the years. Moz was an inspirational guy who again did his thing on the field that’s how I would like to be. I’m not a big talker Michael will do that part and hopefully together we can build a good relationship and build a team. Mick’s got a lot of respect at the club and has done since he came. Tactically he knows what to do, he says the right words and people have looked up to him for quite a number of years now. There was no qualms in Tony picking Michael; I think it was an easy option for him.”
His sentiments were reiterated by Michael: “It’s a great honour to be named as captain of any club especially this club. Having been here for seven years now it’s certainly something I’m looking forward to doing. It’s not going to change too much of what I do; the position I play pretty much lends itself to being a leader and being vocal that won’t change. Hopefully I’ll lead by example with the boys and go about business the way I have over the last few years. Ben’s not the most vocal bloke - I don’t think that’s going to be his role as captain - he’s probably an inspirational player and someone the players look up to. He’s obviously got tremendous support from around the town as well; he’s the most recognisable Warrington player and I think he’s the perfect choice to be a club captain. As long as his performances stay where they have been for the last six or seven years he’s certainly going to be a captain who people follow and follow his example.”