Pat Carrigan has dipped into the wisdom of the Broncos' legendary 300-game club to fine-tune his leadership as he skippers the club through tough times at the tender age of 22.
Former captains Darren Lockyer, with 355 games for the Broncos, and Corey Parker (347 games) are two he has leant on, while injured current captain Alex Glenn (264 games) is another. Throw in last year's captain Darius Boyd, who has played 329 NRL games including 198 for the Broncos, and it is a font of knowledge that he can draw upon.
Carrigan is at the dawn of his career with just 30 games of first-grade experience under his belt, but it is not your average young player who will lead Brisbane against South Sydney at ANZ Stadium on Friday night.
Close to finishing a physiotherapy degree, Carrigan last year became just the third University of Queensland student to be presented with a full sporting blue for rugby league in more than 100 years.
The Broncos skipper also carries a small tattoo on his right forearm with the words "it is not the critic who counts", a reference to 'The man in the Arena' speech by former US President Theodore Roosevelt, a speech that has had a big impact on Carrigan's quest for self-improvement.
"I have always kind of said that I am young and learning in the leadership department," Carrigan said.
Rabbitohs v Broncos - Round 13
"I am pretty lucky at the club with guys like Darius and Alex who have done what they have in the game as well as Darren Lockyer.
"Cozza [assistant coach Corey Parker] captained this club and I have spent a bit of time with him picking his brain about things through the middle and the ups and downs he had in such a role.
"It has been challenging with Brisbane being such a big club, but I'm enjoying it."
Lockyer, the 2006 premiership-winning skipper who captained Brisbane for the final seven years of his stellar career, has worked closely with Carrigan in his role as a leadership consultant with the club.
Carrigan said Lockyer had taught him to focus on "the little things that are big things at the end of the day in terms of your leadership".
"I think it's about how you can help others be better around you, and as a team if we are missing things in certain areas how you can go about improving that as a group so when you get to game day, you are confident everyone can do their job," Carrigan said of Lockyer's wisdom.
"You probably don't have to be the biggest talker. I'd probably put myself in that category and Locky was a bit like that, but when you're on the field you have to make sure it is meaningful. That's something I have really enjoyed talking to Locky about."
The Broncos have been criticised for being silent behind their goalposts and for players not being vocal enough in their encouragement.
"There are some games where you can only say so much before you need action, and saying something else probably falls short," Carrigan said.
"If the opposition scores points, we try and address why and then look to go about fixing that. I have a bit of a say there."
Carrigan unfazed by Pangai talking to ‘mentor’ Politis
Meanwhile Carrigan said he was satisfied with Tevita Pangai Jnr's explanation after revelations the Tongan international had been speaking to Roosters chairman Nick Politis. Pangai took to social media to proclaim Politis was a mentor and that he had recently called the billionaire to give him "a blast" for selling shares he had in the Broncos.
"People have different mentors in all walks of life and if it helps T play good footy then T can talk to who he wants to in my opinion," Carrigan said.
"I know he has a relationship with Nick Politis and as long as it's for all the right reasons, which I'm sure it is, then I'm not sure you would worry. The footy world is a big world and people know a lot of people."
The Broncos go in search of their second win in 11 games against Souths and Carrigan said an improved display would mean nothing if they don't win.
"Near enough isn't good enough for us," he said.
"There is no point coming off the field saying we got better if we aren't getting the two points. There are no excuses."