Crocker wants Souths captaincy permanently - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Crocker wants Souths captaincy permanently

Ben Horne 13/08/2011 11:31:53 AM Comments (0)

South Sydney stand-in skipper Michael Crocker says leadership has given his NRL career a new lease on life and he would love to captain the Rabbitohs permanently.

Club captain Roy Asotasi is due to return from a broken wrist before the playoffs, and coach John Lang will have a difficult decision to make on who should run the side out in the final weeks.

It would be a harsh call on Asotasi to take the honour away from him, given his untarnished off-field reputation.

But Crocker's inspirational style has prompted some of the game's great captains to hail him a natural leader.

Wayne Pearce and Gorden Tallis are among those to sing his praises, while it's understood incoming Souths coach Michael Maguire is a fan of Crocker from their time together at Melbourne.

Given Lang is leaving the club at season's end, he may consider a co-captaincy approach when Asotasi returns, leaving the long-term decision on who should skipper the famous club to new boss Maguire.

Crocker said he'd love to finish his career with the `c' next to his name.

"Yeah of course, obviously I'm loving it," said Crocker ahead of Souths' crucial clash with Canberra at Canberra Stadium on Sunday.

"Roy's coming back in a couple of weeks so that's up to John to decide. I don't think my role will change too much either way, I'll still talk the same and offer the same ideas and opinions for the boys."

The 31-year-old has been leading by example for the Rabbitohs' band of rookie players, with his talking on the field and no holds barred approach to the game.

Crocker struggled to overcome a run of injuries throughout 2009-10, restricting him to just 16 appearances across to seasons.

At his age, Crocker's fitness issues looked ominous, but with 18 matches already under his belt in 2011, captaincy has been an elixir for the Queensland and Australian Test hardman.

"It's added a little bit of confidence to my game for John to pick me (after) I got injured ... itmade me realise that I am a leader and I need to show that on the field and off it," Crocker said.

"I had two years that were pretty awful ... and it's been good just being out there and loving my footy again.

"I've always been a leader on the field in terms of talk and that sort of stuff so it's not really that much different, only now there's a little bit of an onus on getting the boys on the same page in terms of what we're focusing on through the week and making sure everyone's comfortable with our game plan."

The Rabbitohs can keep their finals hopes alive with victory over the struggling Raiders, but Crocker warned it's a danger game.

Souths have been flying high after a thrilling upset over defending premiers St George Illawarra, and then a crushing 56-6 win over Parramatta on Monday which has them four points out of the top eight.

Crocker said the Rabbitohs can't afford to get carried away.

"We can only control what we can control and if we go out and win this week we're still a chance and that's all we can concentrate on," he said.

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