Blair dismisses Broncos captaincy talk
New Zealand co-captain Adam Blair has effectively ruled himself out of candidacy for the Broncos captaincy in 2016 insisting there are a host of other players in the squad more deserving of the honour.
Blair and Brisbane's Kiwi Test contingent only began their preparations for the upcoming season last Monday following their three-Test tour of England in November where Blair and Issac Luke served as co-captains in the absence of regular skipper Simon Mannering.
When quizzed last week who would replace Justin Hodges and lead the team onto the field this season Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett was typically coy, suggesting that he had made his decision but would not reveal who until just before Round 1.
Sam Thaiday, Corey Parker and Andrew McCullough have all captained the Broncos in some capacity in recent years but - as he prepares for his second year in Brisbane - Blair said that despite his experience with the Kiwis he was not the man for the job.
"No way," was Blair's blunt appraisal of his claims to the coveted role.
"It all depends on what Wayne wants. I've got no idea but there are some good players here who will do a great job for the captaincy of the club.
"To even be mentioned is great but there are some great boys here who have been here for a long time and they deserve everything they get.
"I really enjoyed [captaining the Kiwis]. It was something different for myself.
"Normally I just go out there and lead with my actions and I did that but I obviously had to do a little bit more talking.
"I enjoyed that role and I really thought I grabbed it with two hands."
A late addition to the Brisbane squad last year, Blair had to shed the baggage of a disappointing three-year stint at the Wests Tigers before he won over the Brisbane faithful and became a key component of the team's charge to the grand final.
Due to turn 30 early in the 2016 season and with 29 Tests to his name, Blair said that now that he has earned the respect of his Brisbane teammates he feels comfortable to take on more of a leadership role, even without the 'c' next to his name.
"I went about my job last year and now I can express myself a little bit more with my talking and stuff like that but in saying that I never feel comfortable in my position," said Blair.
"I've always got to work hard and no matter who is in front or behind you you've still got to be pushing to be better as a player and as a person."
Blair made his Broncos debut in a trial game against the Cowboys in Mackay last February but said it was the trip to England to play Wigan in the World Club Challenge that fast-tracked cohesion with his new teammates.
With the Broncos scheduled to play Wigan again on February 20 it shapes as a similarly important trip for new recruit James Roberts and Blair said it definitely helped him to feel more comfortable in his new surroundings.
"Coming from a new club, going away on a little tour like that with the group of boys that you don't really know, those kinds of tours pull you together as a group," said Blair.
"You get to bond as a group and I thought that was a stepping stone to our season last year.
"We went over there, worked hard as a group, had a tough game against the Wigan boys and come back better for it."