By Jack Brady (NRL.com)
A changing of the guard at the Dragons has forced no shift of responsibility for new skipper Gareth Widdop and club captain Ben Creagh ahead of the Red V's season opener against Melbourne on Monday.
Creagh maintains that as an experienced player he still has plenty of responsibility within the Dragons organisation despite relinquishing the 'c' next to his name to Widdop back in January.
"The first year I was named captain was my toughest. I really felt the pressure. The last couple of years though I made the most of it. I wouldn't say it's a huge weight lifted off my shoulders, or I'm feeling less pressure now," Creagh told NRL.com.
"I certainly haven't changed my approach to how I train or how I've been in games, and I've been doing my best to contribute and help Gareth.
"Even though I've given up the captaincy it's not me stepping back or me not trying to help players, it's still important as a senior player to encourage and direct the boys when we're under pressure."
Widdop is pleased to have Creagh alongside him for the ride, confident he won't have to force his hand down in Melbourne – where he moved to from England as a 16-year-old.
"I have friends and family down there still so to go back there and skipper the Dragons is I suppose quite ironic really and something I'm looking forward to," Widdop told NRL.com.
"It'll be a great test to see where we're at as a club and playing against my old club in that is always a bit of extra motivation I guess.
"I'd like to think too I've been selected as skipper for what I've been doing in the past. Obviously I'll still keep learning along the way but if anything I'll probably express myself a little bit more – probably more so off the field than anything."
Meanwhile Creagh remains unfazed by rule changes set to be implemented in the NRL this year.
"To tell you the truth it wasn't a factor in the Charity Shield – the shot clock for the dropouts or the scrums. It's there," he said.
"We just need to make sure the scrum is packed before the time expires and I don't see it being a telling factor at all."