Number 8 Andries Pretorius has been elected Captain for the 2012/13 season.
Born and bred in South Africa, Andries Pretorius moved to the U.K. in 2006 to study business at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire, an establishment that has a proud rugby tradition.
Having skippered Hartpury and represented England Students, Andries then linked up with Gloucester’s Academy, before deciding to make the move to Cardiff.
The powerful back rower from Durban made his debut for the Blues against Connacht in December 2009.
Speaking of the appointment, Pretorius said,
“It’s a big honour to be appointed captain especially where we are as a team.
“We’ve got a young team and we are building towards the future, it’s a privilege to be part of it.”
“Paul Tito and Xavier Rush were both players that I learnt from and both of them were phenomenal for the club.”
“We’ve got a good team and a good group of young players.”
“We haven’t just got one leader we’ve got some good guys in the team who are all leaders.”
“Someone like Josh Navidi talks a lot on the field, which is great, and that’s where we want to do our talking this year.”
“Everyone knows their jobs and knows their responsibilities, there’s an attitude growing in the team where we are working hard for each other and pushing ourselves both mentally and physically.”
“Having guys like Leigh, Gavin, Josh, Bradley and Daf just makes my job easier, knowing I have these guys behind me.”
Cardiff Blues Director of Rugby Phil Davies added,
“When I first came here we identified a couple of key areas of behaviour and the qualities we needed during the course of the season for us to have a successful year.”
“We had a session last week with the players where we asked them to identify the people who displayed these behaviours on the most consistent basis and Andries came out very favourably.”
“He has a lot of respect within the playing group and within the staff for that matter.”
“We’ve also picked vice captains who are Leigh Halfpenny, Josh Navidi, Bradley Davies, Gavin Evans and Dafydd Hewitt.”
“We’ve got a strong leadership counsel for the season.”
“I’ve also picked technical and tactical leaders around the scrum, the lineout, the restart, the breakdown and defence.”
“I’m really pleased about it and anytime we need leaders on the pitch I feel we have them.”
“It will give us strength in depth with regards to leadership.”
“I think Andries will grow into the role. He’s very much a doer at the moment, which is good; he’s a very good speaker and very articulate.”
“I made him captain out in South Africa for maybe obvious reasons and my discussions with him about rugby have been good.”
“I’m not going to expect too much of him at the start with regards to technical and tactical leadership but that will grow with experience.”
“He’s got a big heart and respect of the players and that’s important for any leader.”
Andries Pretorius will be available to be interviewed in Glasgow in the RaboDirect PRO12 launch on Tuesday.