Kiwis skipper Adam Blair hints at Broncos exit as Warriors circle
Warriors target Adam Blair has given the biggest indication yet that he could leave the Broncos, conceding that a salary cap squeeze may force him out of the club.
Blair is on contract at the Brisbane until next year but last week coach Wayne Bennett confirmed the Kiwis captain had been granted permission to talk with rival clubs for an early release.
Stuff reported on Sunday that Blair has chosen to join the Warriors on what is believed to be a four-year deal and will negotiate a release from his contract at the Broncos.
Blair is enjoying his time in Brisbane and Bennett has regularly spoken of his admiration for the 31-year-old.
But the Broncos have been on an aggressive recruitment drive recently and any deal they could offer Blair for 2019 and beyond would not be as much as what he could command elsewhere, with the Dragons and Knights also interested in his services.
And as much as Blair wants to stay at the Broncos, the father of two says he has to do what is best for his family.
"This is a great club and I've said all along that I don't want to leave," Blair told Australia's Courier-Mail.
"There's some good players here and some great staff. But there's a cap and they can only spend what they can afford. At times people have to leave.
"They've given me an opportunity to go out there and have a look around. They're doing a good thing by me. At the same time they don't want me to go.
"I don't want to go but that's what the cap does to some players sometimes."
The Warriors see Blair as someone who would add a much harder edge to their forward pack, an area where they have been found wanting this year, while also improving their on-field leadership.
He has been in their sights for some time, with managing director Jim Doyle and coach Stephen Kearney flying to Brisbane at the beginning of the season to meet up with Blair and his wife, Jess, to share their vision for the club.
Blair is close with Kearney, through their time together at Melbourne Storm, Brisbane and the Kiwis, with Kearney making him co-captain of the national team on the 2015 tour to England.
And Blair says he has a tough decision to make.
"That's the hardest thing, is to leave this place," he told the Courier-Mail. "I have to weigh up my options and start thinking about life after footy as well. I have to sit down and have a big hard think about it."