Wests Tigers prop Aaron Woods will captain the team for the first time when they host Gold Coast at Leichhardt Oval on Friday night.
Woods stands in for club skipper Robbie Farah, who is recovering from a shoulder injury suffered in the State of Origin series-opening loss last week.
The 24-year-old had previously captained the joint venture alongside centre Chris Lawrence last season, but was this week given sole responsibility by coach Jason Taylor.
Leading the famed black-and-gold down the tunnel however, wasn’t exactly his childhood dream.
“Actually, I wanted to captain the (Sea) Eagles, to be honest with you,” he said on Tuesday.
“But I’ll take it at the Tigers. I love the club. This is the best club ever.
“I’d never want to leave. There couldn’t be a better job.”
Woods grew up in the heart of Leichhardt and said achieving the honour at the historic suburban venue would be even more special.
“It’ll be one of the best experiences ever. I used to come up here when I was a kid,” he said.
“We love playing at all our home grounds, ANZ and Campbelltown. But to me this is a lot more special.
“I grew up down the road and being a local boy, I’m pretty pumped up.”
While Farah remains in doubt for NSW’s must-win game in Melbourne on June 17, Woods said his clubmate was working hard to recover in time.
Blues coach Laurie Daley names his team next Tuesday.
“I saw (Robbie) today. He’s been doing a lot of treatment around the clock, just to get his body going,” Woods said.
“It’s one of those injuries – if you can get a lot of movement out of it, you’d be alright.
“But he got out of the sling. He does have a lot of movement in his shoulder at the moment.
“Time will tell.”
The Kangaroos representative also weighed into the proposed contract changes announced by the NRL on Tuesday, whereby players will now have a ten-day cooling off period to backflip on contracts signed with other clubs.
The current June 30 deadline will be scrapped.
“It’s not a bad rule,” Woods said.
“I suppose if you sign a player you’ve only got to wait ten days. You don’t have to wait until June 30.
“If I sign a contract, I’d want to honour it. It’s one of them hard things – it’s up to the person.
“I suppose all the stuff that’s happened with (Daly) Cherry-Evans – I don’t know what he’s thinking so it’s hard to comment – I think it’s a good thing for the NRL to do.”