JAMIE Burher feels honoured to have been promoted to co-captain but says it won’t change the way he goes about his business for the Newcastle Knights.
“It certainly is [nice] to be recognised as co-captain of the club,” Buhrer said after Knights coach Nathan Brown invited him to share the leadership responsibilities with Sione Mata’utia.
“It’s a privilege. Not too many people get the opportunity. It certainly doesn’t change what I’ll be doing on and off the field, but it’s something I’m very proud of.”
Buhrer could be Newcastle’s sole skipper against Brisbane at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday night, should Mata'utia be ruled out after having a surgical cleanout of his injured finger during the week.
Mata'utia has been named to start, but Brown said midweek the 21-year-old was not a 100 per cent chance to play.
It certainly doesn’t change what I’ll be doing on and off the field, but it’s something I’m very proud of.JAMIE BUHRER
Buhrer, who won a premiership with Manly-Warringah in 2011 and has represented NSW, captained the Knights’ Auckland Nines side earlier in the year after arriving at the club in the off-season on a two-year contract from the Sea Eagles.
He is the fifth player to have captained the Knights since the start of last season.
The 27-year-old played the opening six games of the season for Newcastle, before breaking his foot at training in April.
He started his first four games in the red and blue in the back row, shifted to hooker for the next two and has returned from the interchange bench in the Knights’ past two games.
After returning from a two-month injury lay-off against the Tigers in round 17, Buhrer was named as co-captain alongside Mata'utia for last weekend’s game against the Bulldogs.
The Knights have missed Buhrer’s experience throughout the middle third of the season, along with Anthony Tupou, Josh Starling and Rory Kostjasyn, who have all been sidelined with indefinite injuries.
“I’m comfortable with my place within the team,” Buhrer said.
“Obviously having that extended time off, I’m just getting my wind I suppose.
“I felt pretty good. Obviously the results haven’t been there, but I’m quite happy with where I’m at physically.
“I wouldn’t say I come back early, but if you’re getting to this point of the season, there isn’t a man playing that isn’t carrying something. It’s just part and parcel of the game.”
Buhrer believes Saturday’s clash with the Broncos could come at a good time for the Knights, as Brisbane’s side is missing a number of key players including injured backliners Darius Boyd and Corey Oates.
Brisbane’s Origin trio of Josh McGuire, Matt Gillett and Ben Hunt have all been named and are at this stage expected to play.
“They’re still a quality team, but obviously it would be a good time with the players they’ve got missing,” Buhrer said.
“If the players don’t back up or what-not, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t happy to be facing them at that time.
“But I think the depth Brisbane have got to overcome some of those losses, it just goes to show they won’t be any easier to face.
“We’ll be doing our due diligence on all those that have been brought in and if the blokes from Queensland back up, then obviously we’ll have to be ready.”
Brisbane’s line-up could feature late changes after Benji Marshall was named at five-eighth but Anthony Milford was included in an extended 21-man squad.
A decision on whether Milford plays will be made after Friday morning’s final ballwork session. The elusive five-eighth has been sidelined since dislocating his shoulder in early June.