Hindmarsh gets vocal
Eels captain Nathan Hindmarsh has been quietly going about his business the past 13 seasons, letting his enormous workload do all the talking ... but as from this weekend's All Stars game, you will be hearing a lot more from one of the NRL's most popular players.
As Parramatta's new skipper, the 31-year-old has adopted a more vocal approach at training which he plans to apply on the field also.
"It does feel different (being captain)," he said. I bark at the players more - I will be more vocal this year. I feel I have the right to ... in the right way."
His leadership skills are sure to be called on this week in the NRL All stars camp where Hindmarsh is one of 15 new faces in the 20-man squad to play the Indigenous All Stars at Skilled Park on the Gold Coast on Saturday.
He was one of the top five most popular players in the public online voting selection for 16 NRL All Stars spots (one from each club) to join automatic selections Darren Lockyer and Benji Marshall and two wildcards chosen by All Stars coach Wayne Bennett.
Hindmarsh outpolled superstar team-mate Jarryd Hayne to win the Eels' NRL All Stars spot, while the Raiders' Josh Dugan outpolled him for the fullback role.
"He's still the number one player in the competition," Hindmarsh said. "Jarryd would be disappointed to miss the All stars but he probably wouldn't have been able to play anyway because of his hamstring.
"I am really looking forward to it and to playing with the likes of young Josh Dugan. He's a very exciting player to watch.
"I'm not there to make up the numbers though. Every jersey I've gotten in the last couple of years has been very precious and meant a lot.
"In the latter stages of your career you tend to appreciate these things more and you realise they don't come around easily."
Hindmarsh says he is expecting a tough encounter this Saturday in his first hit-out for the year after watching the inaugural Harvey Norman All Stars match last year.
He is also looking forward to playing for master coach Bennett, whom he played under as a Kangaroos representative.
"He doesn't say too much ... it's hard to put your finger on exactly what that x factor is that he has," Hindmarsh said. "He doesn't try to over-coach."