Tamworth RUFC have reasons to be buoyant after appointing a new first-team captain via WhatsApp.
The unorthodox method comes as the national lockdown continues to prevent the team from training and meeting.
The Midlands club have shown how social media and messaging applications can be used to make key decisions in uncertain times. Despite the lack of on-field action, preparations for the return of rugby are ongoing.
Macauley Green, 21, was assigned captain by popular demand. Votes were cast via a WhatsApp group chat and the back-row received the most. He will lead the side into next season.
“It’s a surreal feeling, knowing my fellow teammates voted me in is the biggest honour for sure,” he said.
Despite his age, Green doesn’t feel the pressure and doesn’t think the responsibility will affect him.
He said: “Deep down I know I’ll feel comfortable in the role, it won’t change how I play. The club is full of experienced players so if I was to become stuck, I’m sure they’d be there to offer a helping hand.”
Just before COVID-19 put a halt on Tamworth’s progression, their performances were starting to pick up and results were following. Green hopes they can pick up where they left off.
“I don’t plan to make any big changes to the team, that’s down to the coach. But I’ll be there to rally the lads on and give them everything I’ve got to get results,” he said.
When the new season starts, Tamworth will need to start better than they did last season and Green believes they can do this.
“I hope we’re real contenders next season, we have a great mix of youth and experience. I believe we can achieve great things and I know the lads are hungry for it just as much as me,” he said.
Green has played rugby throughout his life and not playing for such a prolonged period of time due to the national lockdown is proving difficult, but the Welsh-born captain believes his appointment will spur him on to relish the game even more when it returns.
“For me, rugby’s everything and I’m missing it. I live and breathe it, so to be named first-team captain is an honour. I probably didn’t expect it this early in my career but I’ll try and lead by example and encourage the lads as often as possible,” he said.