Chambers next Indigenous leader: Soward

It may be news to him but Will Chambers has emerged as the next leader of the Indigenous All Stars team.

Chambers cut an anxious figure in the Indigenous camp ahead of Saturday night’s All Stars clash in Brisbane, admitting to nerves before lining up against his NRL club Melbourne captain Cameron Smith.

But the incumbent Test centre has clearly cut a more confident figure in teammate Jamie Soward’s eyes.

Soward said in the absence of retired great Justin Hodges and Johnathan Thurston, Chambers had emerged as the man most likely to next champion the Indigenous cause.

“One person who probably stood out is Will Chambers,” he said.

“I hadn’t had much to do with him, I had played against him a lot.

“But coming into camp I have had a few conversations with him and you can see he will be carrying the torch for the next young indigenous players coming through.

“If I was to pick one it would be Will and then you’ve go the Tyrone Peacheys, Jack Wightons.

“Those guys are still learning the game but once they get first grade experience they will turn into leaders themselves.”

Chambers is already trying to get his head around filling the shoes left behind by legendary Brisbane centre Hodges in the Queensland and Test teams.

But he had not begun to grasp the challenge of stepping up in the Indigenous side without the likes of Hodges and Thurston.

North Queensland playmaker Thurston withdrew from his beloved Indigenous side this year in order to contest next weekend’s World Club Series in the UK.

“I am not a leader that’s for sure. I just go about my business, enjoy my footy and enjoy being around the guys,” Chambers said of just his second All Stars camp.

“Without Johnno being here and Hodgo moving on I guess I am a year older but I don’t see myself any differently.

“(But) it’s something I really believe in. It means a lot to myself and my people – it is something I always look forward to.”

The only thing he wasn’t enjoying in camp was mulling over the prospect of taking on World All Stars captain Smith.

“I am nervous. He is a special footballer who I have had a lot to do with in my career,” Chambers said.

“He’s a guy I have looked up to and who has really helped me with my footy.

“I probably wouldn’t be the footballer I am without him.”

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