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Westpac NSW Blues outside back Stephen Crichton has been named the new Canterbury-Bankstown captain for the 2024 NRL season.

Bulldogs head coach Cameron Ciraldo made the announcement to club members, while thanking 2023 joint-captains Reed Mahoney and True Blue Matt Burton for laying the foundation for the team’s success.

“They did an exceptional job being thrown in the deep end last year and put their hands up during a challenging year to help guide our young squad,” Ciraldo told

With the addition of high-quality recruits to the 2024 roster with established NRL experience, Ciraldo said his squad now had several young leaders in their own right.

“One person who has consistently demonstrated their leadership qualities during the pre-season is three-time Premiership winner, Stephen Crichton,” he said.

“Stephen is a really good reader of energy. He understands when people are a little bit flat, low on energy, and when it’s a bit quiet, and he can change the mood in an instant.

“He really understands bringing positive energy to the group and he’s been such a valuable asset to us this pre-season.”

Ciraldo said Crichton made a strong impact during the club’s pre-season camp, mostly through his strong communication.

“I just want to lead with my actions,” Crichton said.

“I’ve been at a successful club (Penrith) and I’ve seen what good leaders look like and I’ve learnt a lot from the older boys that I was with and I’ve taken a few things from each person that I can implement in my life on and off the field, as well as in being a leader.

“Going into the camp I knew straight away the boys were nervous and I knew that my communication and leadership could bring the boys up a bit and make them excited,” he said.

Crichton will lead the club out, when he makes his Bulldogs debut tonight (Friday 23 February) in the NRL’s Pre-Season Challenge Round 2 match against Cronulla-Sutherland at Belmore Oval. (Photo: courtesy Bulldogs)

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