Adam Blair has been named by Coach David Kidwell to captain the Kiwis at this year’s Rugby League World Cup in October. It was the 30-year old's family values that gave him the job ahead of other senior players.
The Kiwi's prop was all smiles this morning at New Zealand Rugby League headquarters in Auckland, but underneath it all, the former NRL Premiership winning forward means business.
Blair says, “For me, it's just making sure they live up to our standards first and foremost and I guess I've got to lead that from the front.”
Kidwell, who was also present at the press-conference, had plenty of senior players to choose from which includes Blair’s fellow haka leader Isaac Luke, in-form standoff Kieran Foran and former captain Simon Mannering.
“He (Mannering) was really positive with Adam and supports the decision. He really knows his role within the Kiwis as a leader as well,” says Kidwell.
Blair says, “I've got some quality guys around me who really lift those standards."
Of Ngāpuhi decent Blair is immensely proud to be Māori. It is also an aspect of his that he will draw into his leadership of the team.
“Obviously I'm a proud Māori, and we're quite lucky in the Kiwi teams there's a few of us in there now so we can all get around each other and push our beliefs."
Meanwhile, Kidwell has yet to name Blair’s right-hand man which is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
“One person to mind that comes to me is Roger (Tuivasa-Sheck), he plays 80-minutes at the back and he's obviously got the captaincy at the Warriors,” says Kidwell.
With the Jesse Bromwich issue behind them, Blair's first task as captain will be to try and mould a side that needs to turn around May's ANZAC test loss.