Hodges keen on Broncos captaincy
When you visit the Broncos Leagues Club you'll notice that there are many meandering corridors to navigate through which feature countless walls plastered with photos and memorabilia from players past and present.
Featured amongst the Broncos' annals of history is one particular section of the building where a concrete wall is proudly adorned with a series of action photographs dedicated to the players who have captained the Brisbane-based club.
Positioned on the wall in order from left to right, former captains Wally Lewis, Gene Miles, Allan Langer, Kevin Walters, Gorden Tallis, Darren Lockyer and Sam Thaiday all have their own framed pictures on display.
In April, the photo of 2014 co-captains Justin Hodges and Corey Parker was finally unveiled next to Thaiday's, three months after former coach Anthony Griffin announced the veteran pair would be replacing Thaiday as the first joint captains in Brisbane's history.
Like many interior decorating ideas, this one seemed like a good idea at the time.
However, a little over five months later that photo became redundant after incoming coach Wayne Bennett immediately announced his intention to end the co-captaincy system developed by Griffin in favour of the traditional one-captain model.
The only problem with this particular section of wall is that there is only enough space left for one more captains' photo.
Now the burning question is – who will be in that next photo on the Leagues Club wall?
The race is likely to come down to three players – Parker, Thaiday or Hodges – with Hodges already declaring his candidacy for the job at Brisbane's first official day of pre-season training on Wednesday.
"Definitely - I had a taste for it this year," Hodges said after being asked whether he wanted the job in 2015.
"It's a role I didn't think I would enjoy, but I did, and running out in these colours is my passion.
"I love the club. I won a comp here before but to hold that trophy up at the end of the year as captain would probably be one of the greatest moments of my career."
Hodges' relationship with Bennett has come a long way since a falling out between the pair occurred in 2001 when the then 19-year-old was dropped to the Queensland Cup for his mid-season signing with the Sydney Roosters.
Now a veteran at 32 with 231 NRL games behind him, a mature Hodges has come a long way since he returned to the club in 2005.
Having spent a total of six seasons playing under Bennett, Hodges wasn't surprised when the seven-time premiership coach dumped Griffin's co-captaincy scheme.
"Wayne has always been a one-captain coach. You don't want too many opinions," he said.
"His [opinion] is the first that matters and then the captain. Obviously if he's got me and 'Cozza' (Corey Parker) there's too many voices.
"Wayne is going to be the coach and whoever he picks as captain we have to fall into line behind him with that common goal - to hold that trophy up next year."
With both Parker and Hodges likely to retire when their current contracts expire at the end of 2016, the Test and Origin centre has backed either Alex Glenn or Andrew McCullough as Brisbane's long-term captaincy options.
"Obviously Lexy (Alex Glenn) and Andrew McCullough, I reckon, are our future captains," he said.
"We have to lead them the best way we can so, when we hang our boots up, we know the future of the club is in good hands."
Brisbane only had six permanent captains in their first 24 seasons of existence; however three new faces have been added to that list in as many seasons.
With a new (or old) captain tipped to be announced by Bennett in early January, the Broncos are going to need to build a bigger wall.