Blair vows to add weight to Broncos middle
He began his career as a free-wheeling back-rower but Adam Blair has admitted he wants to bulk up in 2017 as he faces the prospect of starting the season as Brisbane's only experienced prop forward.
With Josh McGuire angling to replace Corey Parker as Brisbane's No.13 this year, Jarrod Wallace now at the Titans and Mitchell Dodds recently undergoing further surgery on the leg he broke playing for Warrington last year, the front row stocks at Red Hill are looking decidedly thin.
The club is believed to be interested in securing another big bopper prior to the season commencing but with only two weeks until the Downer NRL Auckland Nines the likelihood of any late roster changes is looking less and less by the day.
Front-rowers and lock forwards – the 'middles' – play largely similar roles in the modern game but there's no question that in the early stages of games size still matters and with a season up front ahead of him the former Kiwis skipper admits he is hoping to be carrying some extra bulk when the season kicks off against the Sharks on March 2.
"I'm a little bit heavier, maybe around the guts I think," Blair joked with journalists on Monday.
"I wouldn't mind being a little bit bigger. I play at 105, 106 [kilograms]. I wouldn't mind being a little bit heavier than that but that all depends on whether I can carry it out on the field. We'll see when trials come around how I go."
Blair has started in the front row in 78 of his 239 career NRL games to date and while he ruled out possibly playing 80 minutes each week, he said the extra weight would help in the gruelling exchanges in the middle third of the field.
"Just feeling a bit stronger, contact-wise and running-wise," said the 30-year-old.
"We're figuring out what's good for you and for me I could lose the weight pretty quickly. But then I could put it on pretty quick as well so I've just got to be careful.
"It's just trying to tamper with a few things and seeing what works.
"I won't get to 80 minutes and for me, whatever my job is it's doing it at 100 per cent every time I do it.
"Whether it's for 20, 25, 30, 40 minutes it's important that I make sure I go and do my role and not worry about saving myself or doing anything else."
On the verge of his third season with the Broncos after previous stints at the Storm and Wests Tigers, Blair is off contract at the end of 2017 but eager to extend his stay in Brisbane.
Blair and wife Jess already have a son Harlem and have another child on the way and the 38-Test veteran said having settled in the Queensland capital would dearly love to extend his tenure at the Broncos into 2018 and beyond.
"I haven't even thought about it," Blair said of any impending contract talks.
"It'd be nice to get it done earlier rather than later, just to get all the rubbish out of the way and concentrate on football and not disturbing the team.
"I'm enjoying [Brisbane] so there's no reason for me to want to leave anywhere else. This has been a good club and they've been really good to me.
"I come over here when I was a kid so Queensland is nearly home. My wife's from here and we enjoy the Broncos, we enjoy Brisbane and it's been a good place for us."