Whitaker named Waratahs skipper - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Whitaker named Waratahs skipper

By Adrian Warren 03/12/2004 08:09:52 PM Comments (0)

Reappointed captain Chris Whitaker has declared he would be fit to start the NSW Waratahs pre-season rugby campaign, but coach Ewen McKenzie still had to decide about the rest of his leadership group.

Halfback Whitaker 30, the Waratahs' longest serving player, was named as team leader for the second straight season.

He was adamant he would be OK for the Waratahs' opening pre-season game against Queensland in Brisbane on February 5 after missing the Wallabies tour of Europe with a thigh injury.

"It's my first week back, but I'm gradually getting into it and doing a bit more each day," Whitaker said.

"I'm stepping back gradually each day, doing virtually everything, contact, all types of things, but I've just been sitting out sessions here and there.

"I just don't want to overload it too much."

The long-time back-up to Australian captain George Gregan, Whitaker said it was tough to miss the Wallabies tour, though he was enjoying his first real off-season since 1997.

McKenzie said he would reserve a decision about the other members of the Waratahs leadership group until after their 16 Wallabies tourists rejoined the squad on January 3.

He has spoken to coaches from rival codes at the Waratahs' new training base at Aussie Stadium, where NRL clubs South Sydney and Sydney Roosters are based.

McKenzie hinted he might look at appointing multiple leaders rather than just a single deputy to Whitaker.

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