New signing Steve Southern will lead Wakefield Trinity Wildcats into an exciting new era in 2012.
The 2005 NRL Grand Finalist will captian Richard Agar’s men for the first time against Leeds Rhinos on Boxing Day in the Heatshot Festive Challenge and throughout the Super League XVII campaign.
With over 120 NRL appearances with the North Queensland Cowboys and the Newcastle Knights, Southern will provide a significant amount of experience to a Wildcats squad with an average age of just 24.
A model professional on and off the field, Southern takes over the captaincy from former Cowboys teammate Glenn Morrison who is now a member of the Trinity coaching staff.
‘Bluey’ earned a reputation in the NRL for being a tough, uncompromising back-rower and said he is ‘overwhelmed’ to be chosen as the Wildcats new skipper.
“I’m very, very, very proud,” said Southern, who found out he would take the armband at Thursday’s final training session before the clash with Leeds.
“I didn’t see it coming at all and it’s a real honour to lead a club with the tradition that Wakefield has got and I’m really privileged to go alongside some of the big names that have captained this club in the past.
“I was captain of the reserve grade at Newcastle last year but this is the first time I’ll have done it at first grade level.
“It won’t change the way I play, I’ll still play the game the way I always have.”
Danny Kirmond will be Agar’s vice-captain in his second stint at the club following a previous loan spell at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium as the new squad mixes youth and experience.
And Southern says the role of the senior players in the group goes beyond the captain.
“Just because I’ve got the ‘C’ next to my name doesn’t mean I’ll be the only one doing the talking. We’ve got some good senior players and we’re all leaders.
“The last week has been really good. The trip to Wales was great and there were some really top class facilities down there and we got through lots of good work.
“It was great work from the club to put that trip together and we’re starting to gel really well and get closer and closer as a group.
“The last training session yesterday was a really good one and Boxing Day will be a chance to see what level we’re at at the moment. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Wildcats TV will be speaking to Richard Agar about his choice of Southern as his captain after the Boxing Day friendly against Leeds Rhinos (kick-off: 11.30am), with the club now having sold out of standing tickets for the game.
Tickets will still be available on the gate although member discounts will no longer apply.
This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.