Creagh man for the job: Coyne

RUGBY LEAGUE

Former Dragons captain Mark Coyne believes Ben Creagh looms as an ideal replacement as team captain for retired skipper Ben Hornby.

Creagh is today expected to be announced as St George Illawarra's new leader at a press conference in Sydney.

The club has sought a replacement skipper since retiring premiership half Ben Hornby ended his four-year tenure at the helm in September.

Matt Cooper and Nathan Fien have also been identified by Dragons coach Steve Price as possible replacements for Hornby, but it's understood Creagh will be confirmed as the new leader at a press conference at Kogarah.

"There's a number of candidates there," Price told the Mercury earlier this month.

"Benny Creagh has been an outstanding member of our leadership group for a number of years now. Nathan Fien and Matty Cooper also have an opportunity as well."

Former Queensland vice-captain Coyne yesterday anointed Creagh as an ideal future leader for the NSW club.

Coyne said Creagh had shown exemplarily leadership ability from early in his career, both on and off the field.

"I think that's a great choice," Coyne said.

"Ben's been at the Dragons for a long time and he displays all the qualities that you want in a captain - he's passionate about the club and he's shown great leadership ability both on and off the field.

"He's a terrific role model for the game and not just the Dragons, particularly in the way he has pursued life after footy through a university education."

Creagh was an integral member of the Dragons' 2010 premiership-winning side, and has played 200 first grade games for the club as well as Test and Origin caps.

"I've got no doubt that winning a premiership makes a big difference to someone's experience and being able maintain a sense of calm under pressure," Coyne said.

"Ben's a good communicator out on the field and he always leads by example. He's one of the guys that, when you're looking to get out of a hole, Ben's always willing to put his hand up and have a crack."

Coyne, who captained the Dragons in more than 100 first-grade games between 1994 and 1999, said Creagh's biggest challenge would lie in managing his leadership duties and personal form.

"You've got to worry about your own game still," Coyne said.

"When you're captain it's easy to get lost in the team thing, so it's important that he keeps focused on his own game.

"Knowing Ben, I'm sure he'll be fine with that. He's got a good head on his shoulders."

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