CARLOS TUIMAVAVE says he is glad to have the weight of the Hull FC captaincy off his shoulders.
The centre has been replaced as skipper for this season by Danny Houghton, who previously held the role between 2018 and 2021.
Double Challenge Cup winner Tuimavave took on the position for 2023, following the departure of previous captain Luke Gale, but numerous injuries limited him to 18 appearances.
“During the off-season, I asked Tony (Smith, head coach) if he’d like to catch up. I just expressed how I felt and how I thought it would be best that I give up the captaincy and take that weight off my shoulders,” Tuimavave told League Express.
“Not being selfish, but kind of focusing on myself. Focusing on getting my body right, and mentally as well.
“I wasn’t in a good head space last season. I felt it was best to take that backward step.
“When you’re getting injured and you’re missing games, you want to be out there every game and be leading your team and I couldn’t do that, which was really tough.
“This year I just wanted to take that weight off my shoulders, have a good pre-season and get mentally right.”
Tuimavave is confident that stalwart hooker Houghton, who is entering his 18th season with his hometown club, will do “a tremendous job” in his place.
“If there’s anybody I want to be captain, it’s Danny. He’s captained me for many years, I know what a great leader Danny is,” he added.
“Saying that, even though I’m not captain, I still want to be a leader for this team. I just think I will be a better leader by not being captain, not being in the spotlight at the front of things.
“I’ll lead by supporting Danny. This could be his last season (before retirement) so I’m sure he will want to go out on a good note and the players will want to do the same thing for him.”
Houghton, 35, said of regaining the captaincy: “It’s a real honour for me to skipper my hometown club again.
“I’m really determined to give it absolutely everything in 2024, and I will be doing everything I can to lead by example for this great club.”