In Stephen Moore, Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie sees a captain after his own heart.
On Monday, McKenzie – a graduate of the front row school – is expected to announce Moore as his on-field voice for the upcoming three-Test series against France.
A year out from the World Cup, the captaincy appointment is an important one for a team that’s shown potential but is still trying to find its identity.
And McKenzie knows full well what he’s going to get from the no-nonsense Brumbies hooker.
NSW Waratahs flanker Michael Hooper would appear to be a long-term Wallabies skipper, but it seems Moore is being backed as the man for now.
At 31 years of age and with 91 international caps to his name, Moore has the experience to command respect from younger teammates.
But numbers only tell part of the story for an out-and-out-professional who has consistently proven he’s one to lead by example.
McKenzie made his stance on discipline and accountability clear on last year’s Spring Tour and Moore is set to be the captain charged with delivering that message to the Wallabies in the trenches of battle.
Brumbies director of coaching Laurie Fisher says Moore will set the bar high for teammates.
“What sets him apart from a lot of people is his diligence, his preparation and his mindset that he really leaves no stone unturned,” said Fisher.
“He’s a tremendous professional and he’s reliable.
“He doesn’t get sidetracked by other issues and I think that’s a tremendous attribute to have.
“He’s a workrate player … you know what you’re going to get.”
Meanwhile, tighthead prop Ben Alexander will miss the France series with a nerve compression injury.
The Australian Rugby Union said in a statement on Sunday that the 61-Test Wallaby would be replaced by Waratah Paddy Ryan in the 32-man training squad ahead of the first Test on Saturday in Brisbane.
McKenzie said the tough French forward pack played a part in the decision to rest Alexander.
“When you consider the challenge we’ll face against an extremely physical and abrasive French scrum, we all agreed it would be better suited for Ben to use the upcoming period to rehab the injury and regain his strength,” McKenzie said.
Melbourne Rebels tighthead Laurie Weeks will now join the Wallabies as an additional training squad member for the opening stages of the camp.