You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Reborn Blair indebted to Bennett

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 16/11/2016 Ian McCullough

Adam Blair Adam Blair of the Kiwis in action during the International Rugby League Trans Tasman Test match between the Australian Kangaroos and the New Zealand Kiwis at Hunter Stadium on May 6, 2016 in Newcastle, Australia © Ashley Feder/Getty Images Adam Blair of the Kiwis in action during the International Rugby League Trans Tasman Test match between the Australian Kangaroos and the New Zealand Kiwis at Hunter Stadium on May 6, 2016 in Newcastle, Australia says he can never thank Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett enough for reviving his career following his nightmare spell at the Wests Tigers.

The New Zealand forward will play a key role for his country against Australia on Sunday in the Four Nations final and feels he's playing as well as he did during his time at Melbourne.

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 wife Jess and young son Harlem 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 told AAP.

"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.

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."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon