Returning Broncos looking to make their mark
Broncos prop Adam Blair is looking to make an instant impact when he returns from suspension in Friday night's showdown with the Dragons.
The Broncos lost consecutive games for the first time this season in Blair's absence after he copped a two-match ban for a late shoulder charge on the Titans' halfback Kane Elgey in Round 20.
As a result, Brisbane missed one of their most unrated players in recent losses against the Sea Eagles and Bulldogs, which left the Kiwi international feeling frustrated that he couldn’t contribute during his time on the sideline.
"I'm really excited [to return]. Sitting out without having an injury is a bit hard," Blair said.
"I've worked hard these last two weeks and I'm really excited to get out there and be a part of it.
"It's been frustrating that I can't even be out there to contribute but there's nothing I could have done.
"I'm glad that I'm back in the team now and I can look forward to Friday night and work really hard with the boys again."
After an underwhelming start to his Broncos career which led to The Courier Mail labelling the off-season recruit as 'Teddy Blair', the 208-game veteran has quickly transformed into one of Brisbane's most influential forwards in 2015.
Not noted for doing anything flashy out in the middle, Blair's kick pressure, tackling prowess and aggression have been recently highlighted by teammates Jack Reed and Matt Gillett.
Although it's easy to find a correlation between the 29-year-old's absence and Brisbane back-to-back losses, Blair denies he's been the missing component for his side over the past fortnight.
"I don’t think I'm the missing link – I think it's just an attitude thing," he said.
"I guess me being there will help a lot with leadership and a bit of talk. Hopefully I can bring that on Friday night.
"I think I bring a lot of communication to the team and I can bring a lot of confidence to the boys around me."
Blair also stated he doesn’t believe his two-week break will halt any of the momentum he garnered prior to his suspension.
The former Tigers and Storm enforcer is averaging 91 metres from 11 carries this season while chipping in with an average of 27 tackles and one missed tackle per game.
"I've trained [in every session] since I've been out, but for me it was about taking my mind off playing and making sure I'm ready to go," he said.
"I think for me it's about getting involved and having my hands on the ball and not trying to save myself if I'm tired. If Wayne is going to bring me off after 20 minutes then that's all I can do.
"I'll give 100 percent every time I'm out there."
Meanwhile, recalled centre Dale Copley is looking to make the most of a rare opportunity when he starts in the place of suspended skipper Justin Hodges in Friday's clash at Suncorp Stadium.
Injury and the form of Brisbane's backline has frozen the 24-year-old out of NRL action for the majority the season, with the club's leading try-scorer from 2014 poised to make only his eighth appearance of the year against St George Illawarra.
Copley says he's not thinking beyond Friday's game despite Hodges announcing on Monday that he would retire at the end of the season.
Contracted until the end of 2017, Copley is taking it one game at a time as he looks to impress coach Wayne Bennett and become Hodges' long-term replacement.
"There's a fair bit of water to pass under the bridge before then," Copley said.
"If anything this year's taught me it's that a lot can go on in rugby league in a short amount of time.
"This week's game against the Dragons is not going to hold any weight on anything in the future.
"It's Friday night I'm focused on, not anything next year."