Test lock Josh McGuire has returned to pre-season training, declaring the Brisbane Broncos need to "seize the moment" in key games to break their 12-year premiership drought.
McGuire back to boost Broncos
The 27-year-old had one of his best years a starting lock in 2017, winning the Ron McAuliffe Medal as Maroons player of the series in Queensland's Origin triumph and claiming a World Cup title with Australia.
McGuire, who was joined by fellow Kangaroos forward Matt Gillett at Brisbane pre-season training on Monday, filled the No.13 breach left by the retired Corey Parker and was one of his side's top performers through 25 club games.
He said the Broncos needed to grab games by the scruff of the neck if they were to go the extra step and win the premiership he craved after playing 175 NRL games at the club.
"We can take a lot of positives out of last year but our ultimate goal is to win a comp," he said.
"It is a long road ahead. There are some great players here and some great additions to the team and I am looking forward to a steady season that we can build on. We have to win more football games and seize our moments. There were times last year where we did seize our moments and times we didn't, and the best teams do that.
"Some players have been successful enough to win a few [premierships] and some players finish their careers not winning one, and I definitely don't want to be one of those. It is easy to say it here and now in January. It's a long year and a lot of things have to click together.
"The only way we do that is through hard work and that starts today for me and Gillo."
As he gazed at the big boppers on the training paddock, McGuire noted the man mountains would give the Broncos an advantage against the Telstra Premiership heavyweight teams.
"They keep getting bigger every year to be honest. They must be eating a lot of chicken," he grinned.
"Matty Lodge and Payne are 120 (kilos). There's Korbin Sims, Sammy Thaiday, Andre Savelio, Tevita (Pangai), Joe Ofahengaue ... the list goes on.
"There's no real room for myself to play front-row so us smaller forwards like Gillo (Matt Gillett) and Alex (Glenn) get to play behind those big bodies and a faster play the ball."
The extra size in the Broncos pack in 2018 means that McGuire will be continuing in a role he has made his own.
"I was always a lock before I got to the Broncos and had to play front-row because Corey was there," he said.
"It was a position I wanted to transition into and I love playing lock."
McGuire will join his teammates in a pre-season camp on the Sunshine Coast this week, a good way to get to know the new additions to the squad and work "shoulder to shoulder with everyone".
"I'm very excited to get in there and see some old faces and some new faces," he said.
"We have a team that can score plenty of points as we saw last year, then when you add Jack Bird to that team, Darius Boyd is coming back from his hamstring and we've got Andrew McCullough to come back.
"We've got a great spine, some electrifying outside backs and now we've added some extra size to our forward pack so I can only see our team going forward this year."