Just two weeks ago Brisbane great Gorden Tallis described him as “one of the dirtiest players” in the NRL.
Now Adam Blair is set to become the next Broncos captain.
Tallis claimed he was disappointed Blair wore the Broncos jersey after the Kiwi forward’s now infamous chicken wing tackle on Kangaroo Sam Thaiday – his Brisbane teammate – in the trans-Tasman Test.
Fast forward a fortnight and Blair has been handed the captaincy of a not so baby Broncos ahead of Friday night’s Suncorp Stadium clash with Wests Tigers.
Up to six Broncos are expected to be unavailable due to Queensland duty, ensuring Wayne Bennett has turned to the experienced Blair for leadership.
It caps a remarkable reversal of fortunes for Blair who has twice copped one week bans this year alone for questionable tactics.
“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,” Brisbane hooker Andrew McCullough said of Blair.
“He’s played a mountain of Test football and other high pressure games where he’s excelled and that’s why Wayne has got him as the captain this week and I couldn’t be happier for him.”
McCullough defended Blair’s so called “dirty tactics”.
“He’s a quality bloke and a quality player,” he 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.”
Brisbane usually complain about the Origin period.
But McCullough believed the Broncos would be in good shape even without their Origin stars.
Broncos halves Anthony Milford and Ben Hunt will be available all year after earning 12 month Origin bans for breaking an Emerging Maroons camp in January.
Kiwi internationals Blair, Alex Glenn and Kodi Nikorima, England international Jack Reed, NSW hopeful James Roberts and Tongan tearaway Joe Ofahengaue are also on hand.
“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.
“It’s definitely going to help us this week and we’re ready.”