Rob Leota will make history as the first home-grown Melbourne-born captain after the Rebels confirmed his appointment on Thursday.
The Wallaby embodies the 'Burn Boys' culture, an ever-growing group of Victorian-born players making their mark on World Rugby.
This was reflected in last year's Bledisloe at Marvel Stadium, with Leota one of eight either playing for the Rebels or born and bred in the 'sporting capital of Australia.'
It shows how much the Rebels and coach Kevin Foote rate the 25-year-old when you consider Leota won't be available until May after he ruptured his Achilles during that defeat, with Brad Wilkin to lead the team in his absence.
“If you look at Siya Kolisi and what he does in South Africa, he’s a spiritual warrior on the field but off it, he’s a very charismatic social guy,” Foote told rugby.com.au
“That’s what I ask him to be…be that special guy and the bonder off the field and on the field be that warrior.
“Obviously, we’ll miss him for the front end of the season but hopefully get him at the back. All the boys are behind him and want to play for him which is very special.
Leota is the perfect example for the next generation of talent coming through the system as the first homegrown player to sign a Super contract with the Rebels, approaching the position with a relaxed but focused mindset when it matters.
“For me, I’m a bit more relaxed,” Leota said when asked about his leadership style.
“I like to have a bit more of a joke off the field and I think that’s important to not take it too seriously but I think as soon as we get on the paddock and train/play, it’s about being able to switch on and put in the work.
“I think it’s important to have fun and connect with the team but when we get across that line, I’m big on putting my body on the line for the team and attack whoever comes in our way and does at us.”