NRC: Tessmann named spiritual leader

by Marty Cambridge

Experienced hooker Heath Tessmann has been announced as the captain for Perth Spirit in the Buildcorp NRC.

The 32-year-old has played over 60 Super Rugby games with both the Melbourne Rebels and the Western Force and is proud to skipper the side in the third instalment of the competition.

“I’m very honoured to be named Perth Spirit captain,” he said.

“It was just floated to me the other day by the coaching staff and I’m thankful for the opportunity.

“Even though the NRC is a fairly new competition the Perth rugby team has such a rich history and it’s always an honour to pull on the yellow and black jersey.”

Tessmann has played over 60 Super Rugby games. Photo: Getty images

Tessmann will be flanked in the leadership group by  be alone in the leadership group by Western Force scrumhalf Ian Prior and last year’s Buildcorp NRC Player of the Season, Jono Lance.

“The guys we have in the leadership group this year in Ian Prior and Jono Lance are what we call ‘example setters’ around the club,” he said.

“Ian and Jono are both great leaders on and off the field, their professionalism is exceptional so I think they will really help with some of the younger or less experienced guys in the group.”

While the results on the field are no doubt important to the side, Tessmann concedes the NRC offers a chance to experiment.

Jono Lance was the Player of the Year in the 2015 Builcorp NRC. Photo: Getty Images

“Obviously the goal for us this season is to win as many games as we can and give ourselves the chance of taking it out but the great thing about the NRC is it also gives you an opportunity to blood new players,” he said.

“For the guys who haven’t been here before it will be good for them to get used to touring and adapting to a more professional environment.”

The Spirit’s first game is against Melbourne Rising on August 27 in Perth at McGillivray Oval.