Queensland Rugby Union today announced prop James Slipper will captain the Reds for the 2015 Super Rugby season.
He will be supported in the role by two new vice-captains in Reds and Wallabies lock Rob Simmons and recent signing Karmichael Hunt.
Slipper takes over the role with the blessing of incumbent captain James Horwill, who after a number of discussions agreed the best long-term outcome for the future success of the Reds was to step down and allow the growth of the leadership within the team.
In 2014, Slipper was recognised by his Queensland teammates as the Pilecki Medal winner for Players’ Player of the Year and also claimed the Rugby Union Players’ Association Medal for Excellence – which is voted on by all Super Rugby players.
He was also vice-captain of the Wallabies throughout the 2014 Test season and said he was honoured to be given the title of Reds skipper.
“I’m incredibly humbled by this decision. I take great pride in playing for Queensland, so to be named captain is a great honour,” Slipper said.
Wallaby forward Rob Simmons has been chosen at blindside flank in the only change made to the Australian starting line-up for Saturday’s second year-end Test against Italy at Stadio Olimpico.
Australian lock Rob Simmons had his ban for a dangerous tip-tackle during the Wallabies defeat by France this month cut from eight weeks to five weeks, following an International Rugby Board appeal hearing in Bristol, south-west England.
The ARU will appeal Wallabies lock Rob Simmons’s eight-week suspension for a lifting tackle on French forward Yannick Nyanga in Paris two weeks ago.
Australian lock Rob Simmons and New Zealand flanker Adam Thomson who both played for the their countries last weekend and were cited following acts of foul play will both be missing from their respective teams’ lineups this weekend. However, that is where the similarities end as Thomson received a one week ban for his stamp on Scotland’s Strokosch’s head, while Simmons received an eight week ban for a ‘tip/spear’ tackle on France’s Yannick Nyanga.