Rather than talk up his own chances, Brisbane’s Auckland Nines skipper Sam Thaiday is backing Darius Boyd or Andrew McCullough to be named Broncos captain for the NRL season proper.
Thaiday agrees he’d be a better leader under Wayne Bennett after relinquishing the reins in 2014 with Anthony Griffin at the helm.
But the 30-year-old isn’t reading too much into his Nines honour, saying Bennett should adopt a youth policy when considering his next skipper.
Bennett revealed last month he knew who would replace retired great Justin Hodges as his captain in 2016 – he just wasn’t telling anyone else.
The wily coach said he wouldn’t make an official announcement until March “at the earliest”.
However, he appears to have provide an insight by naming Thaiday captain of a Nines squad featuring other standout candidates in Boyd, McCullough, Alex Glenn and Adam Blair.
Former co-captain Corey Parker is the only obvious candidate not picked for the Nines.
But Thaiday says his appointment isn’t really significant.
Asked who should be the next Broncos skipper on Tuesday, he said: “I think it should be a younger guy who is going to be around our club for a long period of time, maybe a Darius Boyd or an Andrew McCullough.
“Both those guys are maturing as men and settling down in their lives, it is only going to help their footy careers.
“And they are players who can lead – Darius with his (on-field) talk and Andrew with his actions.”
Still, Thaiday said he wouldn’t knock back the honour if it was offered by Bennett.
He took over the captaincy from legend Darren Lockyer in 2012 and admits he felt he was “drowning” in the role before finally relinquishing the reins two years later under Griffin.
Thaiday said felt he would thrive in the role with Bennett by his side but was not holding his breath.
“If it comes my way I will be more than happy to take the role and responsibility,” he said.
“You can’t say no to Wayne.
“Having Wayne as head coach will certainly give me more support.
“But we will see what happens.”