Gun midfielder Seb Ross will captain the Saints for the first time in Saturday night’s Pride Game.

Ross was today backed by the players and coaches to lead the side in place of injured skipper Jarryn Geary.

Geary injured his calf against the Eagles in Round 10 and will be sidelined for two matches before his likely return after the mid-season bye.

Ross’ rise to club leader began last season when he joined the leadership group for the first time.

A break-out season followed in which he became one of the most prolific ball winners in the AFL and was nominated for the All-Australian Squad of 40.

Renowned for his professionalism and drive to improve, Ross was the obvious choice to assume the captaincy this week.

Coach Alan Richardson said Ross had become a highly respected leader.

“This opportunity allowed us to have the discussion as to who should lead the team and why. The why for Seb are pretty simple,” he said.

“His ability to both challenge and support his teammates is really high and they have great respect for the way he goes about his football.

“He hasn’t captained the team in a home-and-away season match before, so it’s a great chance for him to develop his leadership.

“Gears and Seb are pretty close, so he will reinforce to Seb that he doesn’t have to turn into Superman overnight.

“He’s consistently one of our best players and he just has to makes sure he nails the way he plays and yes, there are a few more responsibilities, but first and foremost he has to focus on his own performance.

“Seb is a strong communicator on the field, so I don’t imagine that will change too much.”