Sydney - Welshman Gareth Delve will replace retired Stirling Mortlock as the new captain of the Melbourne Rebels in this season's Super Rugby, coach Damien Hill said on Friday.
Delve was confirmed in the role after serving as stand-in captain for much of the 2012 season through injury to the former Wallabies skipper Mortlock.
The 30-year-old will become the first import player to hold the captaincy in an Australian Super Rugby side.
The hard-working No 8 was set to leave the Rebels at the end of last season and play in France before extending his contract for another year.
Hill said it was recognition of Delve's impact on the club.
"His performances on and off the field have been recognised by the playing group and the whole organisation and it's a fantastic achievement," the coach said.
"Gareth's consistently been one of the leaders of the team."
Delve said he did not expect the honour when he first arrived at the club three years ago, having never played southern hemisphere Super Rugby.
"The club's been fantastic in giving me the opportunity to have a leadership role and being a part of building a great culture at this place," he said.
"This is icing on the cake."