Sharks hand Tuitupou captaincy
August 15, 2011
Tuitupou has played for Worcester in the past © Getty Images
Sale Sharks have handed former All Blacks centre Sam Tuitupou the captain's armband for the 2011-12 Premiership season.
The 29-year-old centre is a new arrival at Edgeley Park having made the switch from RaboDirect PRO12 champions Munster during the summer. And Sharks' executive director of sport Steve Diamond, who has overseen a drastic overhaul of the Sale squad during the off-season, says the example set by Tuitupou since his move made him an obvious choice to lead the side.
He said: "Sam joined us in the summer and has been outstanding at training, leading by example and motivating others. He has captaincy experience from his Auckland days.
"It was a difficult decision - there were three or four lads who stuck their hands in the air and wanted to be captain - but we thought Sam would be here with us and not be playing in internationals.
"That was one of the considerations with the new team and the new environment at the club: it's the right way. We're not having vice-captains. If Sam is unavailable, we'll pick a captain as we go forward.
"We've got two other team leaders in the group - Joe Ward and Nick MacLeod - who are our 'governors'. They look after discipline for us and that's how it works out for the team."
Tuitopou is one of a host of new signings at Edgeley Park and will be joined by former Munster prop Tony Buckley, utility back Tasesa Lavea and England's Hendre Fourie amongst others. Sale start their Aviva Premiership campaign on September 3 away at Premiership new boys Worcester.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Ahead of November's USA-All Blacks match, America's ESPN Magazine explains rugby to its readers who may not be familiar with the game
Tom Hamilton talks to World Cup-winning captain John Smit about life after rugby, his fears over the South African exodus and the World Cup
The reopening of the openside debate, a dominant wolf-pack and a sublime performance in defeat - Monday Maul looks at the weekend's talking points
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Rugby Championship alongside the best photographs from around the domestic game