Lockyer sees some Langer in Thaiday - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lockyer sees some Langer in Thaiday

By Wayne Heming 09/08/2011 03:59:21 PM Comments (0)

Retiring great Darren Lockyer believes his replacement Sam Thaiday has some of the same traits as the NRL club's greatest captain Allan Langer.

Brisbane made sure Lockyer's captaincy replacement did not become a sideshow or distraction to their push into next month's finals on Tuesday by announcing 26 year-old Thaiday would be the club's captain in 2012 as part of a contract extension until 2015.

Thaiday is very different to the more conservative and measured Lockyer.

He's a larrikin, always up for a joke whereas Lockyer keeps that persona private.

"The most successful captain here was Allan Langer and he's always been a character and a joker," said Lockyer, endorsing Thaiday's appointment.

"I think it's good to have that.

"Sam's got the serious side to him but he can also make the group laugh and lighten the mood which is one of his many leadership qualities and something Alfie was good at doing.

During Langer's captaincy between 1992-1999 Brisbane dominated, winning four of their six premierships - including the 1997 Super League title.

Thaiday, who credited his fiancee Rachel with having a settling influence on him, becomes only the second indigenous player - after Gorden Tallis - to captain the club.

Tallis led the Broncos between 2001-2004.

Thaiday said learning from Tallis, who he played under when he first came to the club as a teenager, had inspired him.

"It (captaincy) is something I've aspired to do more as I've gotten older and grown on and off the field," Thaiday told a packed press conference on Tuesday.

"It's a very proud moment.

"Gordie (Tallis) is the only other indigenous captain of the Broncos and I'm sure everyone in every community in Australia all the way up to the Torres Strait will be happy I've been named captain.

"Being a Townsville boy like myself, Gordie was someone I looked up to.

"As a forward he was someone I tried to model my game on, being a young bloke coming through, because he played with such aggression and such heart, he did everything he could for the Broncos."

Rookie coach Anthony Griffin made the tough call between Thaiday and Corey Parker but was confident he'd pulled the right rein.

"Sam's got a very strong character and he's really grown as a person over the last few years, not only as a player but he's taken on a lot more responsibility within the group as he's aged," said Griffin.

"He's got the respect of everyone in the club, the players, the coaching staff.

"He's going to be a very strong leader for us."

Lockyer said Thaiday led with actions, often lifting the team with things he did on the field when the chips were down.

"Sam probably wasn't the best trainer five years ago but he's a lot better now and that comes from maturity," said Lockyer, a meticulous trainer.

"The way he prepares for a game, plays and conducts himself off the field, he has to set an example for the younger players and there's a lot of them here.

"Congratulations to Sam, it's a huge honour to captain this club."

Thaiday said his proud mum Julie would "hug my guts out" when he returned home to Townsville on Saturday to play in Lockyer's history-making 350th NRL game against the Cowboys.

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