A true team man with a rugby IQ to follow, Michael Wells is the epitome of a leader.
Having played across four Australian provinces, Wells has brought his knowledge and leadership to the West, earning the respect of his coaches, teammates, and the forever-faithful Sea of Blue.
"For me, I've always been relatively outspoken and analytical, and I think I have a decent technical, tactical brain that I can relay what I'm thinking and assess things in the moment.”
“I have learnt that you must earn respect before it's given, my leadership is always evolving and improving.”
The consistent backrower played seven games in his first year of Super Rugby, going up each week for a spot against an impressive Brumbies back-row, a line-up, including fellow Force man David Pocock. Here, Wells reflects on his 'no fuss, head down approach to reaching game 100.
“100 games probably mean more to all those people that have enabled me to get here," Wells mentioned in a sentimental tribute to his family.
"For my parents, they've put in a lot of time from school till now. I think my dad's probably lived vicariously through me since about under 10's.”
“I love my dad though; for the two minutes I was on in my debut match, I caught one pass, and he said to me after, ‘a lot of people would have dropped that in their first game.'"
The hard exterior is softened when asked about his support in reaching this milestone, attesting his wife, Amelia as the reason for such an achievement.
"First and foremost, it's definitely my wife. She's been part of the whole aspirational ride,” Wells gushed.
“She's the first one to talk to me after games, see how I'm feeling and always messages me before games to wish me good luck.”
“She's the one who gets angry when I don't talk to physios and don't tell him that I'm sore and she gets genuinely angry too.”
The journeyman continues to enlist his learnings over the past eight years to his younger teammates, insisting that being a professional rugby player involves knowing your surroundings and rising to them.
"Whenever you go to a new environment, there are guys that have been there for a while, so you don't walk in there on day one and say this is my show and I'm running it, and that's not me as a person.”
The experienced campaigner notes his direct and professional nature will be linked to his name in the years ahead.
“I think in terms of teammates, they think I'm professional. They know that if there's something rugby orientated, I'd probably give them that fix. I don't think they'd come to me with a lot of personal issues.”
The Sea of Blue's passion and pride is not lost on the captain, welcoming the opportunity to yarn after a game.
"It's been really nice engagement with some of the fans after games,” Wells mentioned.
“We always hear fans; you know talking down about players and you're always the first ones to know when you've done poorly, and you don't necessarily hear any of the good stuff you've done. So, it's nice having some fans chat with us and give us that appreciation."
The Force is honoured to have a man like Wellsey lead the team out against his former side the Rebels for his 100th Super Rugby match.