Japanese international hooker Shota Horie has been named captain of the Sunwolves for the 2016 Super Rugby season.
The 30-year-old will begin his run as leader when the new Tokyo-based franchise face a Top League select side in a warm-up match on Saturday, before they start their maiden campaign against the Lions at home.
"It's a great honour to be named captain for the first Japanese team to play in the Super Rugby.There are definitely things I can't do alone so it's important for the team to come together and work for one another," Horie told AFP
Horie, who was a member of the Rebels Super Rugby outfit in 2013 and 2014, knows that their step-up to Super Rugby won't be easy and that they will have to focus on their defensive systems.
"Defence is likely to be the key. We have to be mindful of that when we go and play," Horie added
Sunwolves Head Coach Mark Hammett believes Horie is the right man for the job and that his experience, especially in Super Rugby, will help the side a great deal.
"It was obvious he was the man for the job," Hammett told Kyodo News agency.
"He leads by example, has experience of Super Rugby and is backed by the players."