JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Cheika springs captaincy on Mr Dependable

Surprise title … NSW captain Dave Dennis, in white, at the Waratahs season launch on Wednesday.

Surprise title … NSW captain Dave Dennis, in white, at the Waratahs season launch on Wednesday. Photo: Ben Rushton

NEW Waratahs captain Dave Dennis has been many things during the course of his rugby career. He has been the promising youngster at Sydney University, the injury-prone battler and the Super Rugby fringe-dweller.

More recently he came to know what it was to be the quiet achiever, after overcoming successive knee injuries and finding consistency at the Waratahs.

Finally, at the age of 26, Dennis came to know what it was to wear the most coveted of titles, that of Wallabies regular.

''He's a guy everyone can relate to, he's been in nearly every situation that all players will see,'' Waratahs coach Michael Cheika said at the club's season launch in Sydney on Wednesday. ''Whether they've been club players or state players aspiring to international level, and he's been an international player. He can talk on that level with all the players and honestly understand that.''

It had been no more than 90 minutes since Cheika had decided on his choice for the captaincy and addressed the squad before they drove to the launch. Dennis certainly had no idea leading into the team meeting, apart from a vague conversation about leadership the pair had had shortly after Cheika arrived last year.

''[Cheika] was being honest when he said he told us 20 minutes ago, so I was a bit rattled in terms of speaking to the boys before we got on the bus,'' Dennis said. ''I'm extremely honoured and proud to be asked to captain the squad, mainly the fact that I was born and bred in NSW and I'm a proud New South Welshman, and also the fact it's such a good group of boys. Being asked to lead them means a lot to me.''

Dennis is an excellent choice for a side desperate to prove its worth to a sceptical supporter base. He also has the rock-solid support of his teammates, who last year voted him the Waratahs' players' player of the year.

''I think he's got a lot of self-belief, it's growing as he gets older … he's earned that coming up through the grades and working through those different things, whether they be injury or selection issues, to get to where he's going,'' Cheika said. ''And now he's there he's going to make the most of it.''

Dennis said he felt comfortable about leading a team that had promised publicly to shed the baggage of seasons past and win back fans.

''I spoke to the boys briefly this morning, and said I won't try to change too much of my personality, that's a key element of being a strong leader, not letting things worry you too much,'' he said.

''We're about rugby and winning games of football. I'll do everything I can to ensure that, and the other stuff is part of being a Waratah. It's a tough environment but the reality is every weekend we're playing a game of rugby we've got to win. I'll just stick to focusing on that.''

Related Coverage

Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG 26 vs AUS 17 Report Stats
WAL 12 vs RSA 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
 
Featured advertisers