Newcastle have announced halfback Josh Woods and forward Ukuma Ta’ai have been named as the club’s captain and vice-captain respectively for the 2022 season.
Woods, 23, joined Thunder from Wigan ahead of the 2021 season. He has replaced Bob Beswick in the role, who announced his retirement at the end of last season.
He was Newcastle’s top points scorer in 2021, scoring three tries and 41 goals as the Thunder cemented their place in the Championship.
Head Coach Eamon O’Carroll said of Woods: “It’s an honour to name Josh captain. Bob was brilliant for us last year, he had a really unique way of getting the best out of the group in a calm manner which helped us massively and with him leaving, it was important to put the right person in place and I know Woodsy is that.
“Josh leads by example and for such a young player he has really high standards and has been brilliant in and around the place in terms of driving forward what we’re trying to do.
“He had the opportunity to captain the side a couple of times last year and when he speaks, the room listens and you see a response.”
Experienced Ta’ai makes step up to vice-captain
Ta’ai meanwhile is assuming the vice-captaincy mantle as he continues as one of the most experienced men in the Newcastle squad.
With almost 200 Super League appearances for Huddersfield, Ta’ai has not only impressed on the field but also off it. He has worked extensively with some of the club’s younger players and passing on his wealth of knowledge to aid their development.
On Ta’ai, O Carroll added: “Ukuma is like having an extra coach on the field. I can’t do it justice how good he is for the club, not just the team.
“He drives the culture here and is like the father of the group and in sessions when he speaks, he has everyone’s attention and commands respect and I know he is also going to be really good in helping Woodsy in his leadership role.”