Australia’s most capped rugby Sevens player Ed Jenkins has announced he will step down as captain of the national side for the 2016-17 World Rugby Sevens campaign.

The Sydney University Football Club member said it was a move he had always planned to make following the Rio Olympic Games.

Jenkins, 30, has 45 caps and 522 points to his name since making his Australian Sevens debut against New Zealand in February, 2008.

“Stepping down from the captaincy isn’t something that has come about overnight,” he said. “Friendy (Head Coach Andy Friend) and I had been discussing a transition well before the Olympics. With a lot of new faces in the squad, we thought the time was right for the team to start looking to the future.”

Lewis Holland has been appointed Club Captain for the Aussie Men’s Sevens program, although the Queanbeyan-born playmaker will miss the entire 2016-17 World Series campaign after suffering a ruptured achilles during a pre-season training session

Coach Friend said he and Jenkins had been working on a plan for post-Olympics and he has decided that the time was right to hand over the captaincy. “Ed has put what he believes is in the best interests of the team ahead of his own personal endeavours, which shows the quality leader that he is,” Friend said.

“Prior to Rio, Ed signed on with the Sevens program until the end of 2018, so he certainly still has a lot to contribute the team in terms of leadership and experience and he will be there to support Lewis and the other guys in the leadership group for at least the next two years.”

Jenkins said he wouldn’t rule out continuing his career in the abbreviated form beyond 2018, after opting for a two-year contract extension rather than pursuing a return to 15-a-side Rugby prior to the Olympic Games.

“Over the next few years, I want to help the younger guys with their leadership and pass on any knowledge I’ve gained over the past eight years,” he said.

“I never thought I’d get to Rio, so you never know what’s around the corner and this is potentially my last Sevens contract, so I want to give it everything to put the team in good stead.”

Sydney University teammate and former Australian Sevens captain Pat McCutcheon has also re-signed to play in the 2016-17 World Series.

The Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens team will begin its 2016-17 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Dubai on December 2.