In a huge vote of confidence, prized recruit Brodie Croft has been elevated to Brisbane's 2020 leadership group before even hitting the training track for his new NRL club.
All eyes were on former Melbourne playmaker Croft on Monday to see how he would fare in his first training hit-out in Broncos colours after finally confirming a three-year deal from next season at Red Hill.
But it seems Croft has already done enough to impress Broncos coach Anthony Seibold, with the 22-year-old confirming he had been on a Brisbane leadership camp last week in Tasmania.
Croft joined fellow members of the new-look leadership group - incumbent captain Darius Boyd, Payne Haas, Patrick Carrigan, Tevita Pangai, Alex Glenn and Matt Lodge - at the pre-season gathering at Cradle Mountain overseen by Seibold.
Croft said he was humbled just to be in the mix to wear the No.7 jersey, made famous by the likes of Allan Langer, let alone be considered a Broncos leader after enduring a brutal first session in intense heat on Monday at his new club.
"Just to be a part of this club is a massive honour," he said.
"Any time you are a halfback of a squad, you are going to have the pressure of having some leadership, whether you are in the leadership group or not.
"I am looking forward to leading these boys around and having a big influence on the team."
Dalby-born Croft spent the past fortnight in Queensland as he awaited official confirmation that Melbourne had released him from the last two years of his contract.
"I'm stoked to be back home in Queensland," he said.
"Melbourne has been unbelievable for me and my development, not only as a footballer but also as a person.
"But now, I am looking forward to what is to come."
Croft played 22 of his brief 39-game career this year for Melbourne but was overlooked for the Storm's finals run by coach Craig Bellamy.
However, the pint-sized playmaker was confident he could step up for Brisbane at No.7, as they rebuilt from their humiliating finals exit - a 58-0 loss to Parramatta.
"It's a prestigious jersey in a prestigious club," he said.
"It's a massive opportunity for me to be a part of. So many great players have played in that position.
"I want to honour this club and do it proud. It (Broncos) is only going up from here for 2020."
Croft believed his game management might help unleash Anthony Milford who is tipped to switch from fullback next year back to five-eighth.
"I'd like to think of myself as a good team manager so I will do my best to organise and communicate and let him do his thing," Croft said.
"He is a freak of a player, Milf. He offers so much X-factor and I am hoping our games can complement each other."
Australian Associated Press