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'Looking to future: Cron bypasses Super veterans White and Wells to name 23-year-old skipper

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16th February, 2024
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Western Force lock Jeremy Williams has become the franchise’s captain at just 23 years of age, with recruit Nic White and last year’s skipper Michael Wells named as his assistants.

Williams becomes the eighth man to lead the Force, fresh from a breakout 2023 season in which he was rated in the top three of Super Rugby’s lineout performers.

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The 195cm lock, a big admirer of inaugural Force captain Nathan Sharpe, moved to the West Australian outfit in late 2022 from the NSW Waratahs.

Jeremy Williams of the Force reacts after the loss during the round 15 Super Rugby Pacific match between Western Force and Chiefs at HBF Park, on June 03, 2023, in Perth, Australia. (Photo by James Worsfold/Getty Images)

Jeremy Williams. (Photo by James Worsfold/Getty Images)

Force coach Simon Cron, who earlier this week re-signed until the end of 2026, said Williams represented the franchise’s future.

“A big part of this decision is looking to the future for someone who can help drive the leadership forward over the next couple of years,” Cron said in a statement.

“We thought Wellsy did a brilliant job in 2023 and we’ve decided it’s the right time to transition with a view to the future.

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“Jeremy is a fantastic young man. He has a lot of respect from the playing group, he played big minutes for us last year and he leads by doing.

“The job of Wellsy and Whitey as vice-captains is to help support Jeremy. All great leadership teams work as a collective group and we are no different.

Williams, who has 20 Super caps to his name, said he was honoured to be handed the role.

“I genuinely cannot wait to lead the boys out this year and am really excited for the season ahead after all the work we’ve done this pre-season,” he said.

“I believe that I am a leader by example, but also know that my captaincy style will evolve with time, so I’m thrilled to have the support of Michael Wells and Nic White around me, given their vast experiences.

“They’re going to play a massive role in helping me and guiding me through the journey, so I’m really excited to work alongside those guys.”

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Wells and White boast more than 200 Super Rugby caps between them.

White has also featured 63 times for the Wallabies and played in two World Cups.

“Whitey and Wellsy are two of our most experienced players,” Cron said.

“Whitey is a genuine international with unmatched experience, Wellsy has played over 100 Super Rugby games.

“The two of them have been captains before, they’re great leaders. That experience will be critical for the team on and off the field.”

The Force kick off their season on February 23, at home to the Hurricanes.

© AAP

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