Kennedy to captain Manly

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Veteran Test backrower Ben Kennedy was today named Manly captain for the 2006 NRL season.

The 31-year-old former Newcastle forward takes over the leadership from Michael Monaghan. Coach Des Hasler described Kennedy as the "best on-field leader in the club".

"Ben Kennedy is an inspirational player and an obvious choice as captain," Hasler said in a club statement. "His first-up season with Manly was exceptional last year and the leadership won't affect his role in any way."

Kennedy beat out Monaghan and new recruit Matt Orford for the role.

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