He has been handed the most prestigious leadership role at the club but Gold Coast Titans recruit Kevin Proctor has revealed how he almost turned down the captaincy so that he could first earn the respect of his teammates.
Proctor and local product Ryan James were unveiled as Gold Coast's co-captains at the season launch last Thursday with Proctor's elevation before he has even played a game for the Titans a surprise to everyone, including himself.
Proctor will make his first appearance in Titans colours on Saturday night. Make sure you're there to see him in action. Buy tickets here.
With nine years at Melbourne Storm and a resume that boasts 179 first grade games and 16 Tests for New Zealand, the acquisition of Proctor formed a major part of the Titans' off-season recruitment, helping to fill a leadership void created by the departures of Greg Bird, Luke Douglas, Nathan Friend and David Mead.
But when he was asked by coach Neil Henry to captain the club in his return to the Gold Coast, Proctor told NRL.com that he had second thoughts as to whether to accept the role.
"It was a bit of a surprise to me," Proctor said of Henry's approach.
"I said to him that I would have liked to have earned it a little bit more and earned the boys' respect. I've only been here three months and I didn't really want to step on anyone's toes.
"I wanted to earn it and get a bit more respect from the boys before I got that role but I'm really grateful for the opportunity and I'll be doing my best to try and impress all the boys, the club and the fans."
Proctor is one of four players set to make their Titans debut against the Roosters at Cbus Super Stadium on Saturday night and despite an injury-disrupted pre-season has already won the respect of his teammates.
Former Bronco Jarrod Wallace has also returned to where his NRL pathway began and has no doubt that Proctor and James are the right men to lead the team in 2017.
"They'll work well together," Wallace said.
"They're both still young and all the boys trust them and they show their actions on the field.
"That's what you want from your captain. You don't just want someone who is good off the field and can give you all the great speeches.
"That's always good but you want guys that are going to perform on the field and both of those guys do it week in, week out.
"Obviously he's played for New Zealand and he's come out of a very successful club who have got some great leaders. Cam Smith's the captain but you probably could have had four or five guys in that team that could have been captain."
A product of famed Gold Coast rugby league school Palm Beach Currumbin, Proctor was nabbed by the Storm just prior to the Titans' entry into the Telstra Premiership in 2007.
Ten years later he is back to lead the club into their second decade but doesn't believe the captaincy will impact on his approach to the game.
"I'll go out there and try and do what I normally do every week and try and get my job done," said the 28-year-old.
"With the 'c' next to your name it's a little bit different but I don't think it will change my game too much. It's just a few more media commitments for me, to be honest.
"I'd already been signed by the Storm [when the Titans came in] but it was good for the locals here and gave all the junior kids something to aspire to and they did really well in the first couple of years.
"Now I have to pinch myself that I'm back here and leading the team where I started my junior footy.
"It's a dream come true to be honest. It's been a good move for me and hopefully we can start the season off really well."
This article first appeared on NRL.com