Tindall: Savage has credentials for captaincy
FOCAL point Tom Savage has the presence and attitude to excel as Gloucester captain, believes Mike Tindall.
Gloucester's former club captain Tindall is confident back-five forward Savage would thrive on the responsibility if handed the Kingsholm armband this term.
The Cherry and Whites' player/backs coach hailed Savage as a natural leader by example, admitting the 24-year-old would have no trouble commanding team-mates a decade and more his senior.
Rugby director Nigel Davies admitted earlier this week he is yet to finalise his decision on who will replace skipper Jim Hamilton, who has joined Montpellier.
Former Hartpury RFC captain Savage remains the main contender for the club captaincy, and he now has World Cup-winner Tindall's endorsement too.
Otley-born centre Tindall thinks Savage would be the kind of club captain Davies could mould into the Cherry and Whites' real centrepiece.
The 34-year-old explained: "Sav's maturity is a real strength for him.
"He commands the squad and he has the respect of everyone.
"I respect him for his attitude and how he trains, how he approaches what he does.
"So it's easier for the older guys to buy into it as well, because he can certainly set an example that people can follow.
"He's a great focal point and presence to build things around, whether at lock or back-row.
"His work-rate in training and on the field, what he demands of himself before he looks to others: that's first-class.
"Everyone has been massively impressed with that right from the start with Sav, and that's only going to get stronger and stronger in any case too."
Savage captained Hartpury RFC in the 2010-11 season, securing a two-year senior deal at Gloucester for the following campaign.
The Shropshire-raised grafter only took up rugby seriously at 16, with Bishop's Castle RFC.
He arrived at Hartpury with no representative honours or preceding reputation – but fought his way through the college ranks.
After nagging Bryan Redpath long enough, he was allowed to train with Gloucester's first team while in his final year at Hartpury.
And Redpath needed little encouragement to fast-track him into the first-team squad.
Just two seasons on he is a Kingsholm mainstay, perhaps even on the verge of the club captaincy.
Even if Savage ends up as full-time skipper this term, Tindall said Gloucester will still need a strong spine of leaders throughout the Cherry and Whites squad.
Tindall continued: "Obviously there's going to be rotation throughout the season and so whoever ends up club captain, at points other people will have to step up and lead too.
"There are plenty of leaders throughout the team. You've got the older guys like Andy Hazell, then Matt Kvesic is someone who will always lead from the front.
"Billy Twelvetrees is a natural-born leader, Rob Cook at the back talks well and marshals people around brilliantly.
"Then there's Nick Wood and James Hudson up front.
"These are the sorts of guys who can fill that role as and when required, whether as a one-off or full-time.
"It's important to have a focal point for the whole club to look to, as overall leader, but then you need a strong group around that too."