Daniel Wells has been named the captain of Australia
DANIEL Wells' long list of career accolades continues to grow with the star Kangaroos midfielder named captain of the Australian team for the International Rules Series against Ireland, while recently retired Melbourne star Aaron Davey will be his vice-captain.
Wells, 28, recently won his second best and fairest award at North Melbourne and played in the 2003 and 2008 International Rules Series.
Wells said he was extremely proud to be named Australian captain, having thought Davey would get the nod.
"It still doesn't change much in terms of how things have been run so far. Aaron, Matty Stokes, Ash McGrath and more of the older guys will just continue what they've been doing and the younger ones will just follow suit," Wells said.
"When we came over the boys enjoyed themselves for a couple of nights, but you can see the whole mindset of the group has changed.
"We've obviously got a practice match this afternoon so that will enhance again the importance of who we're representing – our country, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people back home.
"It's a really big event, a special event, and I'm looking forward to it.
"We just want to make sure the boys really enjoy it as well. We want to make sure they remember it for the rest of their lives."
Davey retired at the end of the 2013 season after 178 games.
The Dees' 2009 best and fairest winner, he played in the 2005 and 2006 IRS series, but said being named vice-captain to Wells was one of the biggest honours of his career.
"I remember when I first came down to Melbourne and me and 'Wellsy' were pretty much inseparable and we just forged a great relationship back then and to be able to assist him and help him with the captaincy duties as the vice-captain is probably the highlight of my career," Davey said.
"This is a rare event, obviously the second indigenous team to ever tour overseas and I feel like I'm getting a bit choked up now talking about it because it's just such a special feeling that we've been fortunate enough to play for Australia and we know the special nature of that.
"To come over here and represent our people, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, in something that we do best in playing footy is amazing."
Lance Franklin is due to join the Australian team in Dublin on Wednesday, but will not arrive in time for the team's practice match against an Irish university team that afternoon.
Wells said the Australian team was not concerned Franklin would be under-prepared for the first Test against Ireland in Cavan on Saturday night.
"He would have had a couple of kicks probably back in Australia and he's obviously the ultimate professional so we look forward to getting him over here," Wells said.
"He's someone we're all keen to get in and have a look at and see what he's like because we haven't actually seen him kick the ball yet.
"But we also know with Lance Franklin what kind of player he is."