Dane Phillips new Jets captain... and Huskie is his deputy
CHEEKY halfbacks make great rugby league leaders which is why new Jets captain Dane Phillips looks the perfect choice to take the club forward in the post-Keiron Lander era.
Last night the 29-year-old number seven was bestowed with the honour at Jets training with powerhouse forward Fakahoko 'Huskie' Teutau the new vice-captain of the side.
Phillips showed his class and character at the back end of 2015 where he was a key figure in the club's Intrust Super Cup and NRL State Championship premiership wins.
Ipswich co-coach Ben Walker said Phillips deserved his new gig.
"Dane is an obvious leader on the field," Walker said.
"The bigger the occasion the more he shines. When the big games came around at the end of last season, that is when Dane got a real spring in his step.
"He did some stuff in that (Intrust Super Cup) grand final that was really classy and he played a massive part in us winning.
"Dane had a hand in just about every try."
Walker's father Garry is a great judge of talent, maybe too good a judge for son Ben's liking.
"I thought I was the best halfback in our family, but Dane Phillips has taken over," Walker grinned.
"Every time I talk to dad he is telling me how good Dane is as a halfback.
"You'd swear he is part of our family now…so we had to pick him as captain."
Phillips has a sense of humour too, as evidenced by stating on the club's website he is a 'molecular scientist' with a passion for chess and badminton.
He certainly understands the science of rugby league, which in his case revolves around combining outstanding organisational skills with the capacity to flick the switch and create tries for his supports.
He has big shoes to fill, following in the footsteps of club legend Lander.
But all-round, Phillips epitomises what a captain is.
"Dane is a typical cheeky halfback, and I say that in a nice way," Walker said.
"He can get the players going in the direction we want them to go on and off the field.
"He is a ready-made captain now, but in years to come he will be a lot better. He will realise that and grow into the role really well.
"The players respect him, and equally important is the fact that Shane (Walker) and I respect him enormously."
Teutau, otherwise known as 'Huskie', will complement Phillips nicely as his deputy.
"We have the perfect mix of having the cheeky half who the bigger the game the better he plays, along with a really tough uncompromising second-rower who demands a lot out of his players," Walker said.
"When Huskie says 'jump' they say 'how much?'
"He doesn't say much, but he leaves all his talking for his actions on game day.
"He has done it the toughest way you can at our place, doing three fitness sessions a day for a month and surviving it.
"He came out the other end and played a huge part in both grand final wins last year, so he typifies the type of character we like."
Teutau will miss round one action against Norths Devils at North Ipswich Reserve on Saturday with a broken finger.