With a new stadium and coaching team in place, there will be a familiar ring to Glasgow Warriors’ on-field leadership in the coming season after inspirational lock forward Al Kellock was today confirmed as the club’s 2012/13 captain.
He has since made 76 appearances in the RaboDirect PRO12, leading the club to the play-offs in both 2010 and 2012. Kellock was named captain of the tournament’s Dream Team two years ago, testament to the esteem in which he is held across the European game.
He holds the all-time RaboDirect PRO12 record for the most appearances as captain of any team: 70.
The 30-year-old has notched up a further 30 starts in continental competition, skippering the Warriors to a host of notable Heineken Cup wins against such prestigious opposition as Toulouse (2009), London Wasps, Bath and Montpellier (all 2011).
Kellock has furthermore skippered Scotland to victory against Australia (2009) as well as overseeing their first ever series win in the southern hemisphere two years ago in Argentina.
New head coach Gregor Townsend told www.glasgowwarriors.org it was a “very easy decision” to endorse Kellock’s captaincy credentials, hailing him as a “terrific leader who embodies everything the club stand for.”
Townsend said: “Al enjoys massive respect from everyone in the game: his teammates, opposition players, coaches and supporters. He is rightly seen as Mr Glasgow Warriors, bringing a fantastic mix of inspirational and technical qualities to the table.
“He’s a captain and a player that the whole squad look up to and from whom they take their lead. He knows the club and the competitions in which we play inside out, and is more hungry than ever to drive the team forward to success.
“We’re fortunate at the Warriors to have a good number of players who provide leadership on and off the park, and that reflects very well on the example Al has set over the years.
“Myself and the other coaches are thoroughly looking forward to working with him as our captain as we seek to build on a positive season last year and achieve something special at Scotstoun.”
Kellock said it “continues to be a massive honour” to skipper the Warriors, and expressed excitement at the prospect of leading the side into battle at their great new home.
He told www.glasgowwarriors.org: “Pulling on a Glasgow Warriors jersey is a great privilege and responsibility, and that’s even more the case when you’re captain of the group.
“This season is shaping up to be a special time in our history, with the move to a stadium where we’re sure we can create a real ‘home of Glasgow Warriors’ feel. We showed good consistency in the RaboDirect PRO12 last year and reached the play-offs, and with a number of strong additions to the squad, our ambition is to improve on that this season.
“There’s a terrific buzz around the squad as we head into the new campaign. Gregor has made clear to the team his vision and ambition, and we’re all excited about putting into practice everything we’ve worked on and talked about in the close season.”
The Warriors have two pre-season fixtures in the next fortnight: away to Sale Sharks in the Mark Cueto Testimonial at Heywood Road on Saturday 18 August, and a clash with Exeter Chiefs at Millbrae (home of Ayr RFC) on Thursday 23 August.
The new RaboDirect PRO12 season begins with a visit to Ulster on Friday 31 August, before Scarlets are the first visitors to Scotstoun on Friday 7 September.
A record number of Season Ticket Members have already signed up to back the Warriors in the first campaign at their new home.