Blair not demoted: Bennett

Two weeks after being named captain, Adam Blair finds himself on Brisbane’s bench for Thursday night’s NRL clash with Canberra.

But don’t call it a demotion.

Wayne Bennett insists Queensland star Sam Thaiday’s elevation to the starting row at Blair’s expense has nothing to do with the Kiwi enforcer’s form.

Bennett said it was just his way of trying to jolt former ladder leaders Brisbane out of their funk after losing four of their last five games.

“It’s no reflection on Blair’s form whatsoever,” Bennett said.

“We are just not where we want to be.

“I am not going to sit on my hands and hope it turns around, I am trying to make things happen.”

Brisbane’s backline reshuffle turned most heads after centre Jack Reed was ruled out for at least a month with a shoulder complaint he had been nursing since the pre-season.

He has been replaced by Jordan Kahu with Greg Eden filling the wing vacancy.

But Bennett’s new look forward pack also raised eyebrows before the fourth placed Broncos hosted a Canberra side vying for a fourth straight win.

Thaiday will partner Queensland teammate Josh McGuire in the front row with Joe Ofahengaue returning to the second tier Queensland Cup to make way for Blair.

Newcastle product Tevita Pangai will make his Broncos debut off the bench at the expense of forward Herman Ese’ese.

Bennett said he was just juggling his troops in a bid to see out the tough Origin period.

“It’s hard when they’re young to be coming off the bench all the time and they do need to play full games some time,” Bennett said of Ofahengaue’s relegation.

“They play 20 or 30 minutes but they don’t get the confidence they need by playing full games.

“(Ofahengaue) knew that was coming, I told him some time ago and it will happen to Tevita too.

“Tevita will stay for a while now but he won’t be staying for the rest of the season I wouldn’t think.

“The Origin period is always a challenge and that’s what I’m trying to do with the bench …to get a balance.

“The impact is not only immediate but long term.”

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