Brisbane Broncos gun Kurt Capewell has revealed that he has rejected off-season shoulder surgery to take the lead during pre-season training as the club looks to improve on their disastrous end to 2022.
Despite playing in pain at the end of the 2022 season, Capewell has opted for physical rehabilitation instead of the surgeon's knife.
“It was tough last season, finishing the year off. We had a few injuries (in the team) and my shoulder was one of those,” Capewell told NewsCorp.
“We decided to go no-surgery and just strengthen it up and give it plenty of rehab which has been good. I've got it strong now.”
It's a remarkable decision from Capewell after an intense season that included his important role in Queensland's State of Origin victory. Though his importance to the club will only increase following fellow back-rower Keenan Palasia's decision to go to the Titans in 2024.
Despite the disastrous end to the season, Capewell doesn't believe the Broncos are under any additional pressure heading in to 2023.
“I wouldn't say there's too much pressure on anyone. We know what we're capable of. It's not a matter of expectation or pressure, it's just a matter of not letting ourselves down and working hard together,” Capewell said.
“We proved to ourselves last season that we're more than capable of playing some good footy. It's just a matter of building on what we've built.”
With the club replacing experience with youth in the off-season, Capewell knows he needs to step up in a leadership capacity as the new arrivals, including Reece Walsh and Jock Madden, continue their development.
“Once you get around that 80-100 games you develop more as a player on and off the field,” he continued.
“Things become habit and you don't have to think so much when you're on the field. Hopefully we can start to see that a bit more with the younger boys.
“We have so much talent, it's just a matter of getting that experience under them.
“That's what part of my role is, to help them where I can and lead by example – on and off the field.”