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Cheika rules out co-captaincy at Waratahs
Ben Horne
18:44 AEST Wed Jan 30 2013

NSW coach Michael Cheika says he's a traditionalist and won't be naming co-captains at the Waratahs for the upcoming Super Rugby season.

Leadership groups and co-captaincy have become the flavour of the month for many new coaches across the football codes.

Sharing the load wouldn't be a problem at the Waratahs, with their team stacked with Wallabies and experienced names.

But Cheika still reckons an old fashioned skipper is the way to go.

The Waratahs will announce their captain at the Super Rugby season launch on February 6 in Melbourne.

Cheika won't share the top job but will name one or two vice-captains.

The Waratahs' new boss says he's been impressed with the amount of players who are desperate to take on the captaincy.

"I'm probably more traditional in the way there's one boss," said Cheika.

"You have to earn that right. I'm not a big man for appointing a leadership group or anything, it's found through the respect of the players amongst themselves and they organise themselves accordingly.

"There's a bit of a battle going on. There's a few guys who have stepped up that I have seen who want it. They want to be the captain."

Wallabies prop Benn Robinson captained the team for most of last year, and will again be a frontrunner for the job.

However, there are a host of other candidates putting their hand up, including Berrick Barnes, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Wycliff Palu.

Brendan McKibbin will lead the Waratahs in their opening trial against Melbourne on Saturday in Hobart.

The halfback would be a surprise choice as skipper, but Cheika confirmed McKibbin has the shown the attitude he's looking for.

"(Captaincy) just naturally happens and a lot of it comes from guys who have the best work ethic," said Cheika.

"With McKibbin, everything he does at training is 100 per cent and players can't fault him on anything and you earn respect like that."