The Chiefs' Super Rugby coach, Dave Rennie, has announced that All Black Liam Messam and Craig Clarke will be co-captains for the 2012 season.
Rennie said the reason he went with two captains is that they are both players who will bring "great values, work ethic and leadership" to the side.
With a 24 week season Rennie and his management team decided that having a dual role would offer better continuity for the side.
"It is a long season and this decision will allow the co-captains with their complimentary skill sets, to share the extensive load," the coach said.
The 27-year-old Messam has played 79 games for the Chiefs and is the captain for the New Zealand Maori and NPC finalists Waikato.
Clarke is also the captain of his provincial side, Taranaki, who lifted the Ranfurly Shield in 2011. The 28-year-old has played 58 Super Rugby games which include 41 for the Chiefs.
The co-captains will be strongly supported on and off the field by the Chiefs leadership group of Tanerau Latimer, Richard Kahui, Mahonri Schwalger and Aaron Cruden.
The lock, Clarke, commenting on his new role said: "It is a huge honour to have the role and it is pretty unique to be able to share it with Liam."
Messam said: "I'm rapt to be involved in a captaincy role again this year. It is an exciting new era for the Chiefs which I am stoked to be a part of. It is a big responsibility taking over the shoes of Mils [Muliaina], but one I am really looking forward to."
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