McGuire to play it smart in recovery

After sitting through an agonisingly tense grand final loss, tough Brisbane prop Josh McGuire has no plans to push his comeback from a ruptured Achilles.

McGuire was one of many Brisbane players who rocked up for the club's first official day of training at Queensland University to undergo a time trial and other physical pre-season testing.

A number of the club's representative stars will not resume training for some weeks after a tough season.

But for McGuire and other members of Wayne Bennett's 2016 squad it was back to work yesterday as Brisbane looks to go one better than its golden-point field-goal loss to North Queensland in last month's epic grand final.

"I'm driven, but I have to be very smart about my recovery," McGuire said after Brisbane's first outing.

One face that will be missing when the rest of the squad returns is captain Justin Hodges, who called it quits after the grand final defeat, leaving Bennett two headaches to solve in the vacant right centre spot and a new club leader.

Bennett is on a mission to find Hodges' replacement with a number of candidates lining up.

Dale Copley, whose NRL career has been up and down for a few years, and exciting prospect Jordan Kahu are the front-runners.

Giant winger Aaron Whitchurch and Ipswich recruit Carlin Anderson, who was outstanding for the Queensland Cup champion, are also in the mix with pre-season training and trial games to convince Bennett to give them a shot.

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