Super 14
Waugh to lead the Waratahs
February 4, 2009
Phil Waugh looks to pass during a Waratahs training session, Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney, Australia, February 4, 2009
Waugh will be hoping to push for more international honours ater being backed as Waratahs skipper by coach Chris Hickey © Getty Images

Waratahs head coach Chris Hickey has confirmed flanker Phil Waugh will lead the Sydney-based side again in this year's Super 14.

Waugh, who took over the captaincy from Chris Whitaker in 2007, skippered his first match for the Waratahs back in 2001 and last year entered the all-time top ten list for most appearances as NSW captain.

"It's probably seen as a bit of a formality to a lot of people to announce Phil Waugh as the Waratahs captain for 2009, but I think it's really important to do so," said Hickey. "Phil is a consummate professional both on and off the field and garners a huge amount of respect from his peers and opponents as captain when he has performed the role for the Waratahs and also for the Wallabies.

"We have a fantastic leadership group at the Waratahs and any one of four or five players could easily step into the captain's shoes, but Phil has a special quality as a leader, so there's no hesitation in handing him the captaincy once again."

Waugh captained the Waratahs for the first time in just his third year of provincial Rugby in 2001. Since then he has skippered NSW on 23 occasions, 21 of those in Super 12 and Super 14 competition. In 2008 Waugh surpassed Michael Brial to move into third on the list of most Super Rugby caps as captain of the Waratahs, and also moved into third in terms of his winning record as a NSW Super Rugby captain.

Should Waugh - who has 101 NSW caps to his name since 1999 - remain injury free in 2009, he will finish the season sitting second behind Chris Whitaker on both the all-time and Super Rugby lists for the most matches as Waratah captain.

Waugh's first appearance as captain in 2009 will come tomorrow night against the Brumbies in the Waratahs final pre-season trial.

Waratahs Super Rugby Captains - Best Records:
Chris Whitaker (2003-06): Played 40, Won 62.5%
Matt Burke (2001-03): Played 30, Won 60%
Phil Waugh (2001-08): Played 21, Won 57.14%
Michael Brial (1998-99): Played 18, Won 55.6%

Waratahs Captains - Most Appearances as captain:
Chris Whitaker: 40
Matt Burke: 32
Tim Gavin: 30
Phil Kearns: 28
Nick Farr-Jones: 27
Syd Malcolm: 26
Johnnie Wallace: 24
Phil Waugh: 23
Michael Brial: 20
Fred Wood: 19


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