Elliott Whitehead has spoken out about his new career role after being handed the captaincy by the Canberra Raiders.
Whitehead came through the ranks at Bradford, debuting in 2009 and making 139 appearances in four and a half seasons until a move to the Catalans Dragons came about midway through 2013.
32 tries in 58 appearances later and Whitehead earned himself a big-money move to the Canberra Raiders in the NRL where he has excelled ever since.
In fact, the second-rower has become one of the most revered forwards in the game Down Under, with his tenacious and tough style going down superbly well with the Australians.
And, with almost 150 NRL games under his belt, Whitehead is now a veteran of the game and signed a new deal with the Raiders in July of this year.
The Bradfordian has also made 20 appearances for England as well as three for Great Britain, and all that will come to help as he takes the captain’s armband in 2022.
“I just have to lead by example, especially when it comes to conditioning,” Whitehead told rugby-league.com.
“Try lead the way and stuff like that, I know it’s a bit harder me being a forward and some of the backs are a bit quicker, but I’ll be doing everything I can to make sure we prepare well going into the season.
The former Catalans and Bradford forward was keen to keep his side’s focus on getting the fittest they have ever been.
“We’ve got a great group of young boys there and I’m sure they’re ready to step up if they have to this year, we’ll have all trained hard and we’ll all be prepared as well.
“Our main focus is being prepared for the season and we’ll be doing everything we can to be the fittest and best team we can be.
After being handed the captaincy sporadically in 2021, Whitehead is now more comfortable heading into his first full season as skipper.
“I think last year was a bit of an awkward situation at the start and I probably wasn’t as comfortable, but it’s a new year this year and I have to take it with open arms and that’s what I’ll be doing.
“It’s my first full year as captain now and I’ll be doing everything I can to lead the boys around.”