Lucky number 7 jersey for Comets

A REJUVENATED Denny Lambert is leading the pack on and off the footy field.

The Central Comets playmaker is counting down the days before making his rugby league comeback this season.

After 11 months on the sidelines with "his first major injury'', the former North Queensland Cowboys star was this week given a full clearance to resume playing with his new club in next week's opening trial games.

Lambert, 25, will lead the Comets into the 2006 season when they tackle Gladstone at Marley Brown Oval next Friday night and a combined Central Highlands outfit in Springsure the next day.

Lambert, the 2003 Queensland Cup player of the year when playing for Wynnum, arrived at Rockhampton's Browne Park in November after a knee injury, just 10 games into last season, cut short his second stint with French side Pia Donkeys.

Lambert, who still holds the record at the Cowboys for the youngest NRL debut at 17, said he was keen to finally get back into his lucky "number seven jersey''.

"I'll play anywhere on the field, even front-row, as long as I've got that number seven jersey on my back,'' he said.

Lambert, forward enforcers Peter Penaia and Andrew Dale, along with hooker Herewini Rangi, who finished last season as captain, have been selected by their peers as the club's new team leaders for 2006.

All four players are leading candidates to be appointed the club's 2006 captain and will have various responsibilities on-and-off the field, which range from choosing game day attire to travel arrangements for away games.

Lambert said he had put his hand up for the captaincy position and admitted it would be an "honour'' to lead his new club.

"The biggest carrot for me coming up here was the opportunity to have a leadership role,'' he said.

The Comets take on NRL sides Manly on February 4 and Cronulla on February 18 in the build-up to their Queensland Cup season-opener away to Easts on March 11

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