Clarke Dermody has today been named as the new Club Captain for London Irish this season.
The former All Black prop captained various matches for Irish last season and has done the same so far in the warm-up games to Irish’s first match of the season against Saracens at Twickenham, prompting rumours amongst supporters that he was set to take the armband permanently before the club’s confirmation today.
Former captain Bob Casey’s leadership over the last three years was excellent, including taking Irish to the semi-final of the Heineken Cup and final of the Premiership, but severe injury problems saw him miss many games last season, and with doubts over how much his knees can take and Dermody’s strong performances when leading Irish in the past, the change makes sense.
Signed in 2007, Dermody signed an extension to his contract last year having previously spent his club career in New Zealand playing for Southland and the Highlanders, and winning three caps for the All Blacks.
He holds the rather impressive record of never missing a game for Southland in seven seasons, captaining them from 2004 to the time he left. The loyalty he showed at Southland has been evident again in his dedication to London Irish, and with a strong support base from players like Casey, Declan Danaher, Paul Hodgson and Seilala Mapusua, he should excel.
Dermody added: “I am thrilled to have been asked to be the Captain for this season and am looking forward to the new challenge of leading London Irish.
“I have experienced captaincy playing in New Zealand and it is something I enjoy doing. We have a very talented squad again this season and I am confident that we will be able to fulfill our potential.”
By Ben Coles (@bennycoles)