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The Highlanders have named James Lentjes as their new captain, with Aaron Smith and Ash Dixon moving into vice-captaincy roles.
Flanker Lentjes, 28, had a strong Super Rugby campaign in 2019 and will replace last season’s co-captains Ben Smith and Luke Whitelock, both of whom are now playing in France.
Lentjes was part of last season’s leadership group and is regarded as a tough and smart leader who overcame injury issues to take ownership of the Highlanders No 7 jersey in 2019.
Lentjes revealed he spoke to senior members of the Highlanders’ playing group to seek their feedback before telling head coach Aaron Mauger he would accept the role.
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“They were supportive and that gave me the confidence they were in my corner,” Lentjes said on Friday.
“They were happy for me to be captain. It’s a one-man job in terms of captaincy but they’ll influence the decisions that I make quite significantly.”
Lentjes’ was offered the role by Mauger last month and his decision to first seek the counsel of his team-mates undoubtedly reinforced to the head coach that he had picked the right man.
“Azza was happy for me to take a couple of weeks to think about it,” Lentjes s
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