LOCK Darren Barry says he has “always” seen newly-appointed skipper Gerrit-Jan van Velze as the “captain figure” at Worcester Warriors.

Van Velze has regained the responsibility of leading Warriors out after losing the job to Donncha O’Callaghan last summer.

Although O’Callaghan was captain in the 2017-18 season, van Velze stepped into the Ireland legend’s shoes on numerous occasions.

And Barry was delighted to see the 30-year-old number eight, who was club skipper between 2014 and 2017, reclaim the reins.

“GJ was captain when I first arrived (in 2015) and then they felt they wanted Donncha (in the role) for whatever reason,” Barry said.

“GJ was always there supporting Donncha and was there to be called upon as captain when he wasn’t available.

“So I don’t think there will be anything different for us as a group of players.

"It was never a case where he we would say ‘Let’s listen to Donncha, not GJ’ as he always had the respect of the group.

“I have always seen him as the captain figure over the past few seasons so it will not be anything out of the norm for him to be captain.

“But congratulations to him on getting that.”

Van Velze joined Warriors from Northampton Saints in the summer of 2014 and led the Sixways side to promotion from the Championship in his debut season.

The 30-year-old recovered from a year-long battle with concussion to feature heavily last term and has now made 66 appearances for the club.

“Captains are there to make decisions on the pitch and lead by example,” Barry said.

“Whoever is best at doing that will get the captaincy and GJ has been doing that for the past few years.

“If it was someone new I am sure GJ would back that person as everyone else would.

“But if GJ is not selected week to week then somebody else would step in.

“I think captains are just there to pass on the messages of the coaches and make decisions on the pitch in those vital moments, like whether to go for the corner or the posts.

“GJ has been pretty good at doing that over the past few years.”