National News

I'm ready for NRL captaincy role: McInnes

St George Illawarra hooker Cameron McInnes is a die-hard club man and would be "honoured" to take over as skipper of the NRL club in 2020.

The reigning player of the year is still burning from the Dragons' lowly finish in 2019 and has thrown his hat into the ring to replace Gareth Widdop as captain for next season's NRL recovery mission.

McInnes, who is already a part of the club's leadership group, said he is ready for the challenge if he's selected for the job.

"If I get the opportunity I'd love it," he said.

"It is a big job, but it's not just me if I was in that role.

"There are many high-profile players here who play rep footy and have been around a long time, a lot of our coaches have played so it's never just the one man.

"Captain is an honour and you get the privilege of leading the side out, but it's everybody doing their bit as well. But it would be a great honour, that's for sure."

The 25-year-old is one of the hardest-working players in the NRL and his leadership qualities have long been heralded by the Dragons.

He was tipped to be a future captain at South Sydney and led the Junior Kangaroos in 2014.

In his three years at the Dragons, McInnes has earned such esteem that coach Paul McGregor spoke to him out of courtesy before signing his former teammate and fellow hooker Issac Luke for one season.

It's was a show of respect that McInnes said he didn't need, but appreciated from the coach as the pair look to work in tandem in 2020.

However, McInnes is blunt when asked if he would be happy to move to lock to accommodate Luke at hooker throughout games.

"I don't care, hey. We came 15th last year," he said.

"Obviously I want to play 80 minutes, every player wants to, but I'd rather win before my personal agendas.

"He's one of the most skilful hookers out there, more skilful than me that's for sure.

"His craft and how deceptive he is, that's something that I learned from him at Souths and I'll continue to learn.

"He's obviously a great runner of the footy and he's just a footy player.

"If I have to go to lock, or if there's some other role I can do for the team to get him out there, if he's going to help us, I'll do that.

"There's no point coming 15th again and getting to play 80 minutes every week. If it's going to be him helping us to be better than I'll do it."

© AAP 2019