The Vodafone Warriors have today officially confirmed Kiwi captain Adam Blair’s signing on a three-year contract from next season.
Boasting a 266-game NRL career, Blair joins an impressive list of Kiwi captains who have played for the club including Dean Bell, Stephen Kearney, Duane Mann, Matthew Ridge, Quentin Pongia, Stacey Jones and Ruben Wiki as well as his long-time New Zealand team-mate Simon Mannering.
“Securing Adam is critical to our quest for much-needed improvement from next year,” said Vodafone Warriors CEO Cameron George.
“He’s a proven leader on and off the field who sets the kind of example we want all our players to aspire to, the epitome of the professional athlete who demands the highest of standards highlighted by an ultra-competitive attitude.”
Vodafone Warriors head coach Stephen Kearney has worked closely with Blair as Kiwi coach and also as an assistant coach at Melbourne from 2006-2010 and at Brisbane in 2015 and 2016.
“Adam is a wonderful example of how a player should go about his business in the NRL as well as representing his country,” he said.
“He has had a tremendous career and he’s going to be a huge asset for the club as we go about lifting our standards across the board.”
Blair is the Vodafone Warriors’ fourth new signing for 2018 following back rowers Tohu Harris (Melbourne) and Leivaha Pulu (Gold Coast), who were secured earlier in the year, and centre Gerard Beale (Cronulla) last month. Also revealed last month was the signing of renowned strength and conditioning coach Alex Corvo, who has worked with Blair and Kearney at both Melbourne and Brisbane.
Blair has just completed his third consecutive finals campaign with the Broncos since he moved to the Brisbane club in 2015.
He was in Melbourne’s grand final-winning team in 2009, played in the Storm’s beaten grand final sides in 2006 and 2008 and then for the Broncos when they lost the 2015 decider to North Queensland in extra time.
The Whangarei-born Blair has been one of the NRL’s most durable players.
He played all 27 games for the Broncos this year and has averaged 24 games a season in his last 10 campaigns, missing just 15 of a possible 257 games.
He has been ever-present in the Kiwis’ title successes during his 41-Test career, starting at prop in the landmark Rugby League World Cup victory over Australia in 2008 and in the Four Nations successes against the Kangaroos in 2010 and 2014. He also played in the 2006 Tri Nations final and was involved in the Kiwis’ Four Nations campaigns in 2009, 2011 and 2016; the only major tournament he has missed has been the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.
Blair is set to lead the Kiwis at this year’s Rugby League World Cup. The New Zealand squad will be named tomorrow.
Date of Birth: March 20, 1986
Birthplace: Whangarei, New Zealand
Junior Club: Northland Carvers
Rep Honours: 41 Tests for Kiwis (2006-2017):
Four Nations (2009, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2016)
Rugby League World Cup (2008)
Tri Nations (2006)
NRL Debut: Melbourne v Wests Tigers, Leichhardt Oval, April 2, 2006 (Round 4)
NRL Career: 266 appearances (2006-2017):
Melbourne: 121 appearances (2006-2011)
Wests Tigers: 71 appearances (2012-2014)
Brisbane: 74 appearances (2015-2017)
NRL Points: 44 points (11 tries)