Aaron Woods wants to be the player to lead Wests Tigers out of their turmoil.
Woods is keen to succeed Robbie Farah as skipper of the embattled NRL club and forge a new era at Concord with under-pressure coach Jason Taylor.
After stepping down from the captaincy last month, Farah’s fallout with Taylor continues to create headlines at the Tigers, while the departure of key personnel including Marty Taupau and Keith Galloway has hit the club hard ahead of the 2016 season.
Test and NSW Origin front-rower Woods, a Tigers junior with Leichhardt juniors said on Tuesday it had always been his ambition head up the club.
“Definitely, as kid it was a goal. I always wanted to be captain of the club,” Woods told AAP.
“No one knows what is going on with all that stuff at the moment, it is only the third week of pre-season, there is a long way to go.
“If it does come my way I would take it with both hands, but it if doesn’t I would support the person that gets it.
“We will just get back into footy first and then see where it goes.”
Ironically, if appointed Woods said he would base his leadership style on that of the out-of-favour Farah.
“Robbie is someone who always plays with his heart on his sleeve. He is a great person to have a role model as to base your captaincy around,” Woods said.
“Robbie is a great leader. He is vice-captain of NSW, he has been captain there a few times and he was captain of the Tigers before he stood down.
“He has played 13 or 14 years of first grade, there is a lot of experience, there and when I first came to the club I was like a sponge and he was a bit off me because I was asking him a million questions.”
“I still do and most of the time he has an answer.”
Woods, 24, said Farah was dealing well with his situation at the Tigers. Taylor hasn’t guaranteed Farah a first grade spot in 2016 and Matt Ballin has joined the club as competition for the hooking spot.
“Robbie is a world class athlete, I have never seen someone as fit and mentally strong as Rob,” Woods said.
“He is that fit and you wouldn’t even know he has had any problems in the off-season.
“He has come back to training and he has been one of our best trainers and I wouldn’t expect any less from Robbie.”