17 Nov 2016

Blair can't thank Bennett enough

10:46 am on 17 November 2016

The Kiwis forward Adam Blair says he can never thank Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett enough for reviving his career following his nightmare spell at the Wests Tigers.

Blair believes he's finally back playing as well as he did during his time at the Melbourne Storm.

Brisbane Broncos fans will miss Adam Blair against Cronulla but he will be available for the Kiwis against the Kangaroos.

Adam Blair is enjoying his time at the Brisbane Broncos Photo: Photosport

It was at the Storm that Blair became one of the most punishing back-rowers in the NRL and it earned him a big-money move to the Tigers in 2012 on a three-year deal reported to be worth $500,000 a season.

However, he and his family struggled to settle in Sydney.

A combination of being played out of position in the front row, a loss of form and being labelled an expensive bust by the media made him lose his love of the game and his place in the New Zealand team for the 2013 World Cup.

"We made the move and it tested each other's character but to be honest it made us stronger," Blair said

"We had no family down there so it was just me, my wife and my little one.

"There was a lot of media focus and attention and I guess pressure on me - it was an eye opener.

"I knew what it was about in Sydney. But until you are there you don't really know.

"It was football 24-7. I am just a quiet guy who goes about his business and doesn't like being in the limelight.

"It was a tough time. But it's part of the job so just have to accept it and do your best. But I do feel I am better player for the whole experience."

The cash-strapped Tigers were more than happy to cut their losses and release Blair from the final 12 months of his contract in November 2014.

Wayne Bennett.

Wayne Bennett. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Almost immediately Bennett was on the phone and made him one of his first signings after returning to the Broncos as coach.

"Wayne first and foremost believed in me and told me the things I can do for his team and I needed to hear that," Blair said.

"He helped get my confidence back.

"He took a chance on me when my stock was low and I owe him and everyone at the Broncos a lot."