The Counties Manukau PIC Steelers will have co-captains for the 2021 Bunnings Warehouse National Provincial Championship with Orbyn Leger and Matiaha Martin confirmed in the role.
Head coach Tai Lavea made the call in the lead-up to the PIC Steelers’ season-opening match against Manawatu in Palmerston North on Friday night.
Leger served as the team’s skipper last season having been named as co-captain alongside the injured Lyndon Dunshea and did a good job at the helm.
He is Counties Manukau through and through – his father Gus played for the Union while older sister Arizona is a current board member.
“You never take it for granted being the captain because it is a huge honour,” Leger said.
“It is an opportunity for me to learn from last year – some of the experiences on and off the field and look at how I would handle those situations again.”
Martin was delighted to be given the honour of being a co-captain of a side he’s given his heart and soul to since his 2016 debut.
“It means everything to me,” the 29-year-old said. “This is the province I grew up playing in.
“I am happy to be able to lead the team along with Orbyn and hopefully take Counties Manukau to better things this season.”
Martin feels the 2021 squad is as strong a PIC Steelers squad as he’s been part of.
“Teams will under-estimate us,” he said. “We have a lot of experience, and they might think we are an old, run-down team but there is an awful lot of fire in this group.
“The young guys are pushing hard, and I am excited about what we might be able to achieve.”
The PIC Steelers head to Manawatu to face the Turbos in the competition opener from 7pm on Friday night before playing host to North Harbour at Navigation Homes Stadium in Pukekohe a week later in their first home appearance of the year.
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