Waratahs head coach Daryl GIbson was full of praise for Waratahs captain Michael Hooper as the new side prepare for the new season.
Hooper is just 25 yet has accumulated a wealth of experience at Super Rugby and Test match level already in his career.
2017 will be the first season that Hooper has led the Waratahs on his own, having previously shared the captaincy duties with Dave Dennis who is now with Exeter Chiefs in England.
Gibson backed Hooper to develop into an elite leader in the sport over the coming years.
“He has all the character attributes you want in a leader and the great thing is he’s got time. He’s amassed a huge amount of experience in a really short amount of time and at  he can potentially grow into that great leader,” Gibson told Rugby Heaven.
“I think if you look at his playing record, he has certainly got the history in the game and the standing in the game to develop into a really great leader.
“Learning the art of leadership will be a fine challenge for him and one I think he’ll be excited by, because he’s an achiever. He’ll want to do that.”
The Waratahs boss also pointed out Hooper’s remarkable record of having not missed a single Super Rugby game for the side over the last three years.
“That’s [an] excellent athlete and excellent preparation. In terms of professionalism at our club he would be one of the highest around his personal preparation and recovery,” Gibson added.
“It shows that he has remarkable resilience around his mental toughness and application. It shows he’s a quick learner too. He’s come out of school and learnt the professional behaviours and continued them.
“It’s no accident that he’s been able to [play four straight seasons].”