WINGER Tom Hale has been named captain of Malvern for the upcoming campaign.

Hale, who was the club’s leading try scorer last season, replaces Luke Milton in the role and plans to put in the same amount of effort and desire as his predecessor.

“I hope that I can continue the great work of Luke (Milton) in developing the younger players in the squad,” said Hale.

“I hope to work closely with Rob Cook and the rest of the coaching team to take the club to the next level.”

Hale has risen through the ranks at Malvern having started as a mini-rugby player and played at various levels within the club before becoming a vital member of the squad.

Cook said: “Tom was the standout candidate for the role based on his performances over the last few seasons.”

The ex-Gloucester back said he was also pleased with his players’ efforts in training, insisting there was competition for every position.

“To see over 40 players attend pre-season during the middle of the holiday season shows the enthusiasm and commitment of players,” said Cook whose side visit Nuneaton in a friendly on Saturday, August 19 (1pm).

Malvern finished fifth last term in Midlands Two West (South), but Hale is aiming for even better things this season.

“To see so many new and returning players at pre-season bodes well for the new season and the effort being put in will I am sure pay a real dividend once the season starts,” Hale added.

Malvern travel to Evesham on September 9 to kick off their campaign before taking on relegated Kenilworth in their first home game of the season on September 23.