Wayne Bennett is keeping mum on Brisbane’s next skipper but he might have provided an insight after handing Sam Thaiday the Broncos’ reins for this weekend’s Auckland Nines.
Thaiday appears to have the inside running to reclaim the Brisbane captaincy he relinquished in early 2014 after being asked to lead a big name Broncos squad at Eden Park.
Bennett admitted last month he knew who would take over the reins from retired great Justin Hodges in 2016 – he just wasn’t telling anyone yet.
He said he would not make an official announcement until March “at the earliest”.
However, the master coach might have shown his hand after naming Thaiday captain of a squad featuring other standout candidates Darius Boyd, Alex Glenn, Adam Blair and Andrew McCullough.
However, another former captain Corey Parker does not appear in Brisbane’s Nines squad.
The Broncos’ squad also features damaging utility Corey Oates and Queensland Emerging Origin squad member Joe Ofahengaue.
Elijah Alick will make his return from a knee reconstruction at the Auckland tournament that will also mark the senior debuts of Junior Kangaroo Jai Arrow and Queensland under 18 forward Keegan Hipgrave.
Tom Opacic, Caleb Timu and Jonus Pearson will also be on display at the Nines for the first time.
Devout Mormon Timu – once hailed as the next Gorden Tallis – will be playing his first game since returning from a two-year faith mission.
Broncos’ Nines squad: Sam Thaiday (capt), Elijah Alick, Carlin Anderson, Jai Arrow, Adam Blair, Darius Boyd, Alex Glenn, Keegan Hipgrave, Andrew McCullough, Francis Molo, Todd Murphy, Darren Nicholls, Corey Oates, Joe Ofahengaue, Tom Opacic, Jonus Pearson, Sam Scarlett, Caleb Timu.