Justin Holbrook has delivered a strong endorsement of Kevin Proctor’s leadership credentials as the Gold Coast prepare to announce a new captain for the 2020 NRL season.
With incumbent skipper Ryan James suffering a second ACL tear at training a fortnight ago, Holbrook must find a new captain for the club as he prepares for his first season at the helm.
With senior players Tyrone Roberts, Jarrod Wallace, Nathan Peats and Proctor all rested from the Nines squad this week, Holbrook didn’t name a skipper for the trip to Perth.
Holbrook said the decision on a new club captain was still being discussed internally, but praised Proctor for his leadership qualities when asked about the Kiwi Test star and his future at the club as one of several big-name players entering the season fighting for a new deal.
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“I love having Kev here at the club, he is a great leader of the group,” Holbrook said.
“I’m sure that we would want to keep him for 2021 but we haven’t got around to the details of that at this stage.”
With Proctor and last year’s stand-in captain Roberts both to feature in next week’s All Stars clash on the Gold Coast, Holbrook wants to wait until prior to the club’s final trial against Brisbane on February 29 to announce his new leader.
“We are having some meetings about those type of things now so we’re not in a hurry for that," he said.
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James, meanwhile, is due for surgery next week and while the 28-year-old had contemplated the prospect of retirement when faced with a second season on the sidelines, Holbrook said the front-rower’s spirits had lifted in recent days.
But Holbrook said it was still too early to tell how a second year on the sidelines would impact James’ chance to secure a new Titans deal for 2021.
“He will get his ACL repaired probably next week now so in terms of the future I’m not too sure,” he said.
“He is in a much better spirit this week than he was last week so that’s good.
“It’s obviously another big setback for him being back to back seasons so not ideal and I’m not sure about 2021.”