Broncos decide on new captain
Two weeks after being blasted by former Broncos captain Gorden Tallis for being a "dirty player" Adam Blair will assume the title held by only 21 players previously when he leads Brisbane out against his former club, the Wests Tigers, in a move that has been popular with his teammates.
Current captain Corey Parker was a somewhat unexpected figure in the Broncos gym on Monday morning before he goes into camp with the Queensland team on Tuesday and it will be Blair who inherits the 'C' next to his name on Friday night at Suncorp Stadium.
Widely criticised for a 'chicken-wing' tackle on Broncos teammate Sam Thaiday in the mid-year Test for which he copped a one-week suspension, Blair was co-captain of the Kiwis for their tour of England last year and is held in high esteem by those at the club.
He will join a roll call of some of the game's greatest players to have captained the Broncos that includes Tallis, Wally Lewis, Allan Langer, Darren Lockyer, Kevin Walters and Gene Miles.
Andrew McCullough captained the 'baby Broncos' in their win over Newcastle without the team's Origin stars last year and said that in two years at the club Blair has become a highly respected figure amongst the playing group.
"He's a quality bloke and a quality player," McCullough said.
"He does a lot of the things that don't get noticed by the fans. They see tries and line breaks but they don't see kick pressure or inside pressure on the ball-players.
"It's something that we value in the team and he's done a great job over the last couple of years since he's been here.
"All the younger guys look up to him, he takes the younger forwards under his wing and shows them how to train and prepare for each week and he's been doing that for years.
"He's played a mountain of Test football and other high-pressure games where he's exceeded and that's why Wayne has got him as the captain this week and I couldn't be happier for him."
After three relatively underwhelming seasons with the Tigers Blair embarked on a career revival at the Broncos and was seen as a key component in their charge to the grand final.
He does the dirty work that few players have the stomach for and has re-established himself as one of the game's most influential forwards.
Despite losing as many as six players to the Queensland Origin team this week, the Broncos will still boast seven players with international experience which Alex Glenn sees as crucial in getting them through the difficult Origin period.
"It's always tough when we lose a few players in our squad but the great thing is we've got seven internationals in our side that are still here," said Glenn, who has captained the Broncos on nine occasions.
"It's definitely going to help us this week and we're ready.
"In previous years it's been Australian dominated but having a few more boys from the Kiwi side, Samoa and Benny Hunt's still here as well, it's definitely handy for us."