Cheika undecided on Waratahs captaincy
Berrick Barnes was one of several Wallaby players to return early to training for the Waratahs. Photo: Getty Images
New Waratahs coach Michael Cheika will wait to see who wants it the most before deciding on a captain for this year's Super Rugby campaign.
The majority of the Waratahs' Test representatives returned to training for the first time on Monday, Cheika putting them through an arduous session in sweltering conditions at Centennial Park.
Cheika is yet to decide who will lead the Waratahs in 2013, with incumbent Benn Robinson - who inherited the role as a result of former skipper Rocky Elsom's injury ruined 2012 season - having already stated his desire to retain the captaincy.
Benn Robinson is keen to captain the Waratahs again. Photo: Getty Images
"Until the other lads had come back and started running, you've got to see who wants it the most," Cheika said of the captaincy.
"The leadership's earned, it's not a given.
"A lot of the guys are back and running around now - we'll see who wants to earn the respect to be the boss."
None of the Wallabies stars were due back at training until next week - but a host of them including Robinson, Berrick Barnes, Drew Mitchell and new signing Michael Hooper - returned early for their first run under Cheika.
Asked how many of them were in the running for the captaincy, Cheika said: "I don't know, I couldn't tell you.
"There's a natural group of guys that have stepped out of the (non-Wallabies players) squad that has been here already.
"Now when the Wallaby players have returned - I think some of them who have returned in advance of their dates have shown that they want to be in it."
As for Robinson's chances, Cheika said:
"He's here a week earlier than he was supposed to be - that shows that he wants it".