Adam Blair will embrace his "senior leader" role with New Zealand and heed the lessons of last year's World Cup catastrophe when they face England next week.
In one of the more confusing appointments in recent Kiwi history, new coach Michael Maguire confirmed his team will have no captain for the June 23 Test in Denver.
He wants leadership to grow organically out of what will be a young playing group, with Blair acting as an unofficial skipper.
Maguire's left-field announcement on Tuesday came about an hour after Blair fronted a Warriors club media session.
Reporters were unaware of the veteran forward's pending status and neither, seemingly, was Blair, who claimed he had only liaised briefly with Maguire since the coach took charge last month.
"I've spoken to him briefly about where I stand. It was more about, 'was I up for selection?' and stuff like that."
"(Captaincy) was a tough thing. I enjoyed it. It was a massive learning curve," he said.
"It's something I've learned from the experience and be better for it."
Blair looks set to lead a green international group onto Mile High Stadium.
Simon Mannering, Ben Matulino and Russell Packer have confirmed their international retirements while Jesse Bromwich, Jordan Rapana, Benji Marshall, Kieran Foran and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck are senior players to have suffered untimely injuries.
The rushed and messy nature of New Zealand's preparations were underlined by Blair's surprise when informed Matulino and Packer had hung up their representative boots.
"I thought those guys had a fair time left in the Kiwis jersey to be honest so it's come as a surprise and a shock to me," he said.
"They've been playing some good footy. I'm a bit speechless there."
Blair believed Maguire still had ample Kiwi talent to pick from in the NRL which would allow the coach to stamp his mark.
"He can instil what he wants in the group of boys and play his part in growing a group of men.
"There's some great kids out there for sure who will be the future of the New Zealand team. The Test match coming up will be a chance to bleed them into the system."