Scarlets head coach Brad Mooar has made one of his first key announcements since arriving from the Crusaders, naming Ken Owens as captain for the coming season.
Owens is on duty with Wales in Japan hoping to deliver the nation to their first World Cup final appearance at a tournament.
And while Mooar will be hoping to change things for the better at Scarlets, he is happy to stick with Owens as captain.
“Ken is an outstanding leader,” Mooar said. “I heard the other night Alun Wyn Jones refer to him as the heart of any team he is in, such high praise from a legend of the game and something that has been really clear to me from the time I have been involved in this Scarets journey. Ken’s heart beats Scarlets.
“I first met Ken about a year ago. He is held in such high regard, is such a genuine Scarlets person and an outstanding rugby player.
“Without exception, everybody I have spoken to – players, management, staff, the board – everyone speaks highly of Ken and his leadership abilities.
“He has played for and captained the British and Irish Lions, has been part of the leadership group for Wales. It is an absolute no-brainer that he is the right man to lead this team, club and its people.”
Owens, who won his 67th cap for his country against Ireland last weekend, said: “It is a huge honour to be again named captain of my home region and, as I said when I was first appointed captain, a privilege to follow in the footsteps of some legends of the game who have led the Scarlets in the past.
The 32-year-old hooker will near in on 250 appearances for the Scarlets, a club he has skippered since 2014.
He will be assisted by four vice-captains in James Davies, Jonathan Davies, Werner Kruger and Steff Hughes.