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Palmer promoted to Tykes captaincy

07 January 2004

England international Tom Palmer, 24, has been promoted to captain of Leeds Tykes by Director of Rugby Phil Davies and will begin his new role at the club with this Friday's visit to Edinburgh in the Heineken Cup.

Palmer will take over the captaincy from Mike Shelley, who will become Club Captain with back row Dan Hyde being appointed vice captain for the remainder of the season. Palmer is the first player to come through the Tykes Academy system to captain the club and has made 99 first team league appearances during his four years in the Tykes first team.

Commenting on the announcement Davies said, "Tom has all the potential to be a great captain for the Tykes for many years to come.  Mike has done a fantastic job over the past couple of years and has steered us through to the current point but I am keen to get the most from Mike as a player over the coming years and I feel the time is right for Tom to take up the reins.

"I have always thought of Tom as a potential captain for the club and with us now having a young core to our squad, Tom will be able to lead this group of players hopefully to the next level over the coming years," added Davies.

Palmer, who returned to action three weeks ago after suffering a knee injury on England duty this summer, commented on the news, "I was surprised and honoured when Phil offered me the captaincy. I thought further down the line I might get to skipper Leeds but never so early in my career. It is a great honour though and I'm looking forward, with the help of Mike Shelley and Dan Hyde, to getting started on Friday."

"Friday's game will be special, I lived in Edinburgh for ten years as a kid. I moved there at six and stayed until I was 16, going to school at Boroughmuir. It's a great place and I enjoyed growing up there," added Palmer.