Thaiday prepares for clash with mates
Barnstorming Broncos and Australian back-rower Sam Thaiday simply can't wait to face off against past and present Brisbane teammates when the Kangaroos take on Samoa this weekend – especially impressive prop Josh McGuire.
With Josh McGuire to be joined by current clubmate Daniel Vidot and a pair of former Broncos – North Queensland's Antonio Winterstein and Sea Eagle Dunamis Lui – in Sunday's Toa Samoa line-up, Thaiday is relishing the rare opportunity to run at some of his regular compadres.
"I usually don't get the chance to play against Broncos players or ex-Broncos so it's going to be a bit of fun. It's always fun when you get to play against your mates. I'm sure they'll be all fired up, especially Josh McGuire, who I think will be looking to prove a point," Thaiday said.
"I'm sure they'll chase after me. The text messages will start soon with a bit of banter but it's been good... to see how well they have been going.
"I'll be sure to have my mouthguard in and everything taped up and I might even put some shoulder pads on because they have some big boys."
Thaiday was complimentary of the whole Samoan side's efforts thus far, but the veteran 29-year-old saved his biggest praise for McGuire – who Thaiday said wouldn't have looked out of place in a Kangaroos jersey.
"He went to Papua New Guinea to play in the Prime Ministers XIII with every intention of being picked in the Australian team," Thaiday said.
"Things didn't quite work out for him but I'm sure it won't be too much longer before he gets a call-up."
While McGuire usually makes his home in the front row, the 24-year-old has been shifted to lock and even hooker by Samoan coach Matt Parish throughout the tournament.
While Thaiday admitted he does like the look of his clubmate in the No. 13 jumper, he went on to warn McGuire that he shouldn't get too comfortable when it comes to Wayne Bennett's Broncos plans for 2015.
"I'm sure once Corey Parker hangs up the boots, he'll be there putting his hand up to play [at lock]. He has some great ball skills and he's tough and strong in the middle and you need a defender like him there in the middle," Thaiday said.
"I think for the time being Wayne wants him to play front row though. Wayne's trying to recruit hard and get some props to play with and around Josh.
"So for the time being Josh is going to be our rock. He'll be our Shane Webcke and we'll try and build our forward pack around him."
Four Nations aside, Thaiday and McGuire will throw on the boxing gloves in December for the "Worlds Collide Fight Night" in Brisbane to raise funds and increase awareness for depression and anxiety for the BeyondBlue organisation.
Thaiday, while happy to participate, is thankful he won't be facing off against McGuire for the second time in a matter of months.
"We're not fighting each other. I made sure of that," Thaiday said.
"Once the Four Nations is done and dusted I'll be doing a bit of boxing training. It gives me the chance to get off my feet in terms of running but still gives me the chance to do cardio.
"It's really an undercover way of me doing training without me doing training – it really tricks my brain."