Dane Haylett-Petty brings \”cool, calm\” to Rebels captaincy

Dane Haylett-Petty brings \”cool, calm\” to Rebels captaincy

February 8, 2019

Melbourne Rebels fullback Dane Haylett-Petty: Plans to lead his side by example.Credit:AAP

Melbourne Rebels fullback Dane Haylett-Petty came into work on Thursday morning to find some surprising news.

The Wallabies star will be captaining the Rebels in 2019, taking over the role from lock Adam Coleman.

Haylett-Petty was one of the Rebels most-important players last season after crossing over from the Western Force. And he was comfortable as a member of the team's leadership group.

But after being called in by coach Dave Wessels, Haylett-Petty was a little surprised but happy to take on the captain's role which was publicly announced at the team's season launch at Rod Laver Arena on Thursday night.

"Dave only told me this morning and it's a huge privilege and honour – I was a little bit surprised but pretty excited about the opportunity," Haylett-Petty said.

"It will be a new thing for me. I've captained teams for parts of games or games at a time, but never for a season. So, it will be a big challenge but the most important thing for a rugby team is to have a good leadership group.

"We have a lot of good leaders, a lot of experience around the team to share the load."

The captaincy has added to what is already a big year in Haylett-Petty's career as he will be a vital player for the Rebels and also be pressing to make the Wallabies side for the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

While Haylett-Petty describes himself as more of a lead-by-example person, he believes that will complement the team's more vocal leaders like Will Genia, Coleman and Tom English.

"We all have different strengths and weaknesses and we should share the load quite well," Haylett-Petty said.

"I like to focus on the task and remain pretty cool and calm as well as try to set a huge example. I'm probably not a huge talker in the group, but we have such charismatic leaders like Adam Coleman, Will Genia and Quade Cooper who are guys who take a lot of responsibility and drive us around the field.”

Wallabies’ Dane Haylett-Petty lines up Ireland’s Keith Earls.Credit:Sitthixay Ditthavong

Haylett-Petty spent much of 2018 in the Wallabies side and hopes to continue as a first-choice player for Michael Cheika while pushing the Rebels onto their first finals appearance.

Haylett-Petty missed three key Rebels games last year after suffering a neck injury following a collision with Israel Folau, but he hopes to remain with his club side for all of this campaign.

"It was a disappointing Super Rugby season last year but I managed to get fit and play all the Wallabies games so that was a good six or seven months," Haylett-Petty said.

"So, I’m looking forward to this season. I started late pre-season after some time off, but I'm looking forward to round one like most of the boys."

The Rebels completed an opposed training session against the Tokyo Sunwolves on Friday and they hope to have much of the team available for round one, although Reece Hodge remains an uncertain starter and may be held over for their second game as he completes his return from an ankle injury.

"I think with all the changes we made off the field, this is the best place the club has ever been in going into a season," Haylett-Petty said.

"But that doesn't guarantee you any results. There is still a huge mountain to climb during that Super Rugby competition.

"Being the best rugby competition in the world, we need to be up for it every week."

The Rebels Super W side will have co-captains with Sharlene Fagalilo and Meretiana Robinson leading the side.

The Rebels open their season against ACT Brumbies in Canberra this coming Friday at 7.45pm.

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