In big news for the club, the Northern Pride last week unveiled the signing of the Maurice Blair for the 2019 season.
The experienced campaigner (pictured above with coach Ty Williams and football operations manager Chey Bird) returns to Australia following a successful stint in the UK Super League with Hull Kingston Rovers.
The versatile Blair – who can play in the centres and second row – was a key contributor when at Hull KR and was in the past season presented with the Colin Hutton Contribution award, recognising him passing 100 appearances for the club.
With such a new and inexperienced squad, Blair provides plenty of know-how and leadership for coach Ty Williams and his side.
During their off-season recruitment drive, Williams has highlighted the importance of finding players that are the right “fit” for the club and told Pride Media that “Bobby” ticks all the boxes.
"He hasn't come back for personal gain; he has come back to influence young guys," Williams said at a recent press conference.
Blair, who has previously played with the Penrith Panthers, Gold Coast Titans and Melbourne Storm, is also no stranger to the Intrust Super Cup competition, playing for clubs including Souths Logan Magpies and Tweed Heads Seagulls.
His return to Australia and to the Cup was motivated by a desire to “give back to the game that gave him so much”.
As the oldest and most experienced member in the playing squad, Williams is hoping Blair will be able to act as a leader and mentor to the younger players in the squad; while in turn Blair plans to help develop the players to be the best they can be both on and off the field.
Match: Pride v Dolphins
Round 1 -
Venue: Barlow Park, Cairns