Kiwis Coach David Kidwell announced Adam Blair as the new captain to lead New Zealand at the Rugby League World Cup 2017.
The 30-year-old, Whangarei born Kiwi has played a vital role in the team’s successes since his debut in 2006. With 41 international Tests under his belt, including the 2008 World Cup and 2014 Four Nations winning teams, Adam has been an integral member of the top-quality Broncos squad who are currently sitting in the NRL top four.
Having been a member of the Kiwis leadership team for several years, Kidwell is confident Blair has the mana, integrity and experience to take the next step in his career.
“Adam’s vision and rugby league intelligence has been proven time and time again.
“He is a well-respected core member of our team and has earned the respect of both the coaching staff and his fellow players,” he says. “Adam will steer the team in a positive direction with his actions, courage and mana.”
Blair is known for his attention to detail both on the field and in his educational pursuits and he is taking the new role in his stride.
“I’m honoured to take on the new leadership role, playing for the Kiwis is not something I take lightly and leading the boys, especially in World Cup year is a challenge I’m excited to get into,” he says.
While Simon Mannering was considered for the role, the rugby league stalwart supported Blair in bringing a fresh perspective to the position.
“I’ve talked with Simon and he is happy with his role within the team and will continue to play a fundamental part as a member of the leadership group that will support the new captain,” Kidwell says.
Blair’s first appearance as captain will be when the Kiwis take on Samoa at Mt Smart on October 28.