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Premiership Rugby

Kronfeld to captain Tigers

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby ball

The 32-year-old won 54 caps before his international retirement in 2000 and was among the best openside flankers in world rugby for several seasons.

His courage and total physical commitment combined with a laid-back approach to life made him one of the most popular All Blacks, respected across the rugby world, finishing just one cap behind the man he succeeded, the 'Iceman' Michael Jones.

One of the most prolific forwards of all-time with 14 tries in international rugby, the man, who made 63 appearances for Otago and 42 Super 12 appearances for the Highlanders, excelled at securing possession in the tackle, in his support play and anticipation when moves broke down.

He made his last Test appearance in the 2000 Tri-Nations and after a lengthy break from rugby to re-charge his batteries, Kronfeld signed with Leicester in May 2001.

Kronfeld is certainly looking forward to taking over the captaincy role during the critical early phase of the season from England skipper Martin Johnson and is the first overseas player to lead Tigers since Colin Martin – another New Zealander – who captained the team from 1960-63.

"I hope that the players will respond well to what I have to do and how I play. I hope they'll get behind me and make my job easier," said Kronfeld.

"I'll never be a Johnno but I've got a reasonably relaxed approach – I want to see the boys smile and enjoy the rugby and when we have to be serious we'll switch right into it. That's always been my style of play."

Kronfeld will first lead Tigers out as captain at the team's pre-season friendlies against Perpignan, Cardiff Blues and Sharks this August.

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