Brisbane Broncos forward Adam Blair has opened up about his appointment as New Zealand Kiwis captain, describing the honour as a special moment that he and his family will never forget.
Blair was officially named captain of New Zealand on May 28th, but he had been in talks for weeks about the possibility of the appointment with coach David Kidwell and a number of Kiwis staff.
New Zealand's captaincy became vacant earlier in the year when Melbourne Storm prop Jesse Bromwich stood down from his position as Kiwi captain due to illicit drug use.
Blair was an obvious choice to replace Bromwich as captain, with the veteran of 39 Test matches highly respected amongst New Zealand's playing group.
The 31-year-old spoke to NRL.com about the privilege, saying he had to think long and hard about the added responsibilities that come with captaining an international side.
"At the start I got asked to think about it. I didn't know what to think," Blair said.
"I obviously know that captaining your country comes with a lot of things on and off the field.
"It's a proud moment for myself. My family were very happy for me and my grandparents were trying to get a hold of me. My wife was absolutely stoked. It's just a special moment."
A part of New Zealand's leadership group for several years, Blair was first approached about the captaincy just days after the decision had been made on Bromwich.
He said although it took a while for his promotion to be officially announced, he was always going to say yes to the offer.
"I was in talks for a while. There was a process in place. The whole time I was always going to say yes when I was asked," he said.
"To even get my name brought up was a special honour.
"I think maybe a week and a half before the announcement I knew. It was a special day.
"The process involved talking amongst the leadership group that we do have and then at the end of the day the New Zealand Rugby League made the decision. This includes the coach."
Blair's appointment means he will get to lead his nation out in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup at the end of the year.
What makes this even more special for Blair is that it will be a home tournament, held across Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.
"I get to lead the boys and lead the country into a World Cup," Blair told NRL.com
"It's even more special because it is at home amongst my family and friends. That will make it so special.
"There is still a lot of work to put in place to make sure we are ready to go."