Bath have announced that openside flanker Guy Mercer has been named as their club captain ahead of the 2016/17 season.
England international fly-half George Ford, who played a crucial role in the recent historic series win against the Wallabies, has been installed as vice-club captain.
The 26-year-old Mercer spent much of his childhood watching the team he now plays for from the terraces, and was educated at the city’s King Edward’s School. A member of the Bath Rugby Academy since his early teens, Mercer made the step up to the senior team in 2011 and has since made over 100 Club appearances.
"This is a huge honour for me," he told Bath's official website.
"I grew up watching Bath, so to play for them was always a huge ambition of mine, and now to have been asked to lead the players makes me incredibly proud.
"I’m really excited to be part of building the culture here at the club, and moving forward as a group. There’s a lot to look forward to, and the players can’t wait to get the season started."
Todd Blackadder, the club’s director of rugby, said of Mercer’s appointment: "Guy is a terrific player who knows Bath Rugby inside and out, which is an invaluable resource in a captain.
"He works tremendously hard both on and off the pitch and it’s that work ethic, combined with his personality, which has earned him the respect of his team and the supporters.
"We’re fortunate to have a strong core of leaders within the squad who will also play their part in what will be a big season for us, which is very pleasing from a coach’s perspective."