Chris Flannery believes Jake Friend is on developing into a future captain after cementing himself as one of the most consistent players in the Sydney 17.
Chris Flannery believes Jake Friend is on developing into a future captain after cementing himself as one of the most consistent players in the Sydney 17. Scott Davis SMP IMAGES

Sunshine Coast product Jake Friend could be captain material

PREMIERSHIP-WINNING former Rooster Chris Flannery says fellow Coast product Jake Friend has all the attributes to make a fine captain following the retirement of Anthony Minichiello.

Flannery believes Friend (pictured) is on developing into a future captain after cementing himself as one of the most consistent players in the Sydney 17.

The premiership-winning rake has been rewarded for his dependability, becoming part of the Roosters' leadership group this year.

"I think he could definitely become captain some day," Flannery said yesterday.

"Jake would be one of the first on the team sheet every week, and rightly so. The coaches have enough other things to worry about with players not doing their job."

Flannery knows the qualities required for good leadership after being captained by such former NRL greats as Brad Fittler, Darren Lockyer and Gorden Tallis.

He spent seven years at Bondi alongside Minichiello, including the 2002 premiership season and three consecutive grand final appearances.

"Jake is a real worker and he gets the job done and I know that coaches just love those types of players that they can rely on week in and week out," Flannery said.

"He has really turned things around in the last few years and it is a credit to him how he has knuckled down and become a real leader for the Roosters.

"His work rate is huge and he doesn't have a break and is out there for the whole 80 minutes and there is no niggle in his game."

FRIEND has been recognised through a series of awards since joining the Roosters in 2008, including the club's highest honour, the Jack Gibson Medal, in 2011.

He was a crucial part of the Roosters' 2013 premiership assault and managed to stand out in a team boasting such stars as Sonny Bill Williams, Michael Jennings and James Maloney.

The 24-year-old also was named man of the match in this year's World Club Challenge, which the Roosters won 36-14 against Wigan.

Selected as 18th man for Queensland in Origin I this year, Friend is considered the likely future Maroons and Australian hooker following the retirement of Cameron Smith.

"He's been outstanding for a long time now," Flannery said.


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