National Rugby Championship
Stirzaker to captain Melbourne Rising
August 11, 2014
Nic Stirzaker and Joe Kamana show off Melbourne Rising's colourful jumper for the inaugural Buildcorp National Rugby Championship, Melbourne, July 25, 2014
Melbourne Rising launch their colourful jumper for the inaugural Buildcorp National Rugby Championship © Melbourne Rising
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Promising young scrum-half Nic Stirzaker has been handed the captaincy of the Melbourne Rising in the new National Rugby Championship (NRC).

In the leadership group assisting Stirzaker will be fellow Melbourne Rebels back Mitch Inman, Pat Leafa and Pom Simona, who was selected for the Rising from the Harlequins rugby club in Melbourne.

Melbourne Rising coach Sean Hedger said that the NRC was a great opportunity for 23-year-old Stirzaker to develop his leadership skills ahead of the 2015 Super Rugby competition.

"Stirzy has been identified as a player with great leadership attributes, as well as a really good knowledge of the game," Hedger said. "The NRC is about providing opportunities, and we see the potential in Nic; we know he will fulfil these sorts of leadership roles in the future as well."

With 24 Melbourne Rebels caps, Stirzaker said he was a little surprised to be announced as the inaugural Melbourne Rising captain.

"It's very exciting; it is the first time in my career that I will captain a side, and it will be a learning experience for me," he said. "I was a little bit surprised, but it is a young team and we will all be helping each other with leadership."

Stirzaker is lightning quick off the mark, clocking 2.71 seconds over 20 metres. He will be looking to hold off a challenge for the starting jersey from newly-signed Ben Meehan.

The Rising open their NRC campaign against the North Harbour Rays at 2pm on Sunday, August 24 at AAMI Park.

© AAP

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