HASTINGS Valley Vikings will have a new captain and a new face to lead them into their quest for a fourth-straight Mid North Coast Rugby Union title.
Hamish McCormack will fulfil a lifelong dream in Saturday’s clash at Oxley Oval when he leads the 2014, 2015 and 2016 premiers against Southern Cross University.
He was looking forward to the challenge of leading by example.
“Hopefully I can get away with talking to the ref a bit more than usual, but I’ll keep my head down and everyone will work off the back of that,” McCormack said.
Coach Mark Howard said McCormack’s appointment was the most logical choice out of the playing group.
“I can remember him as a seven or eight year old kid in the dressing room unstrapping the guys boots after games,” he said.
“He’s been there for a really long time and I’m sure it’s probably a dream of his to captain this club. I’m really happy for him to get the job.”
Howard said McCormack’s no-nonsense style of play was one which commanded respect from his teammates.
“He’s tough and as a teammate you love to see those efforts he does; he brings blokes along with him.”
Howard said the match against SCU would be a good challenge for the Vikings to face first up.
The students are the only team to beat them in the last three years.
“I think that’ll help the boys get up every week knowing every game is going to be a nice close game,” he said.
“It’s added motivation to put in the hard work that’s needed to win a grand final.”
The regular faces are back with David Tunstead, Adam McCormack, Greg Lawrence and Tom Woods amongst others set to return for another year.
But Kiwi signing Jacob Taituave will add some more grunt to an ageing forward pack.
“I was after a change of scenery and I’d played a fair bit of footy at home and saw it as an opportunity to come to Port,” he said.
“I was lucky enough to land at the Vikings who have been quite successful.”
The 22-year-old was looking to make an impact.
“Scrums are my forte so I’ll bring a bit of impact to our set pieces,” he said.
The Vikings will celebrate ladies day on Saturday with first grade to kick-off at 3pm.