Peter Wallace has endorsed star five-eighth James Maloney to take over the Penrith captaincy for the rest of the NRL season despite only arriving at the club over the summer.
Wallace confirmed his immediate retirement from the game on Tuesday after losing his battle to a bicep injury, which was followed by revelations he had played the past two years without an ACL.
Maloney has deputised for Wallace since the veteran rake went down in round 10, and is now poised to lead the team into the business end of the year.
If chosen, it would be the first time the NSW State of Origin star, who recently won a pre-game toss in Canberra and asked Raiders captain Jarrod Croker the best way to run, will officially skipper a club in his career.
"A wealth of experience, been around for a long time and proven winner," Wallace said of Maloney when he spoke about his retirement on Wednesday.
"I know the boys really look up to him and he gives them a lot of confidence having him in the team. They're in very good hands there."
Wallace, 32, also backed young hookers Sione Katoa and Wayde Egan to capably step in his boots in a role they are likely to share for the second half of the season.
Katoa, a Samoan international, has started in the No.9 jumper for the past two matches.
"He's playing really well. Really good defender, he's pretty smart around the ruck, and pretty quick too. He can play middle as well if you have to," Wallace said.
Egan, who is undefeated in five matches since his debut in round 4, has been compared by some in the club to Kangaroos champion Cameron Smith.
"He's in that mould a little bit. He can play in the halves if needed as well. They're both probably coming on a little quicker than everyone anticipated," Wallace said.
While the club announced Wallace would immediately join the club's coaching staff, the former NSW Origin hooker said he would also delay surgery in case of an injury crisis.
"I'm going to keep training to a certain degree, keep fit. The club knows if there is an injury crisis or if something happens, then I'll be there to go," he said.
Asked if he'd be ready for a possible grand final recall, he said: 'I'll have to be."