The grim reality Broncos must face as Kevvie’s axe hovers over 18 players
Broncos coach Kevin Walters is set to wield the axe in a ruthless clean-out at Red Hill and there’s 18 players reportedly on the chopping block.
It comes after he was seen giving his players an all-time spray in the sheds following a humiliating 46-6 thrashing at the hands of the Eels on Friday night.
Brisbane have slumped to their worst start to a season in 22 years. The club received its first-ever wooden spoon last season.
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Fox League analyst Michael Ennis believes it’s a move Walters must take.
“There’s no doubt that it’s a huge time for Kev at the club. They’ve had an awful amount of no success in that last 18 months and they just can’t keep persisting with what they’re doing at the moment,” he said.
“There’s some big names and I think absolutely some of them won’t be at Brisbane next year.”
NRL: The Super Saturday panel breakdown who will stay and who will go from the Brisbane Broncos over the coming weeks….
NRL: The Super Saturday panel breakdown who will stay and who will go from the Brisbane Broncos over the coming weeks.
According to a News Corp report, only 11 players are expected to survive as Walters looks to make the tough calls in a big roster overhaul.
He hopes to be settled on who stays and who goes within the next month.
That means Broncos players have a local derby with the Titans, a Queensland clash with the Cowboys the following week and then games against the Sea Eagles and Roosters to prove they are worthy of a spot in the top 30 roster next year.
“I am doing that, definitely,” Walters said in reference to a roster overhaul.
“A little bit has to happen for us to do what we want to do with this roster.
“We have played some good teams so far this season and I now have a fair idea in my head of what I want to do, who I want to keep, and I’m working towards that over the next month or so.”
There’s currently 13 players off contract who now face a nervous wait. Among that group is skipper Alex Glenn, Kotoni Staggs, Tom Dearden, Tesi Niu, Xavier Coates and Anthony Milford — who was dropped a fortnight ago to Queensland Cup.
News Corp reports just Coates, Staggs, Dearden and Niu are safe out of the 13.
But that doesn’t mean those contracted for next season are safe either. We saw Brisbane ship Joe Ofahengaue to the Wests Tigers this season despite the forward being contracted until the end of 2022.
NRL: Kevin Walters has delivered a thorough spray to his Brisbane Broncos after they turned in a thoroughly disappointing display against the Eels….
NRL: Kevin Walters has delivered a thorough spray to his Brisbane Broncos after they turned in a thoroughly disappointing display against the Eels.
According to the report, contracted players Matt Lodge, Corey Oates, Tom Flegler, Richie Kennar and Rhys Kennedy have been put on notice, while under pressure half Brodie Croft also needs to improve to save his future at the club.
“Brodie hasn’t been able to fire since he came from the Storm,” Ennis said.
One man who is definitely safe is star front-rower Payne Haas, who was Brisbane’s only shining light in Friday’s loss. Tevita Pangai Jnr is also tracking well with the club said to be impressed with his overhauled attitude after a number of off-field indiscretions last year.
Walters seems to be stuck in a halves headache. $1 million playmaker Milford is in reserve grade, Dearden is still developing and Croft hasn’t lived up to expectations.
That’s why the club is in the market for a marquee half. They are interested in Rabbitohs skipper Adam Reynolds and are reportedly eyeing Eels No.7 Mitchell Moses too.
Walters didn’t give too much away on the Reynolds or Moses situation.
“If you wear a seven jumper these days you are linked to the Broncos, so that’s part of it,” he said.
“We are a big club, we are a strong club. It’s great to know other players want to come and play at the Broncos, that’s what it is all about.”
But Ennis has urged the coach to go hard for either of them.
“Reynolds or Moses, they have to land one of them. Brisbane has always, forever and a day, attracted the big-name players. They’ve got to land a Reynolds or a Moses, they have to,” he said.
NRL: The Parramatta Eels have continued their impressive start to the season by demolishing the Broncos 46-6 in Darwin….
NRL: The Parramatta Eels have continued their impressive start to the season by demolishing the Broncos 46-6 in Darwin.
Outside of the halves, the Broncos have been linked to Penrith utility Kurt Capewell and South Sydney forward Jadyn Su’A, but Ennis can’t see Capewell leave the current success at the foot of the mountains.
“Capewell has been terrific at Penrith but will he leave there? Su’a has been terrific at Souths, yes he wants to go back to Queensland as we understand, so I can understand that,” he said.
Rabbitohs utility and Fox League analyst Benji Marshall believes the Broncos may have to “pay overs” for players in this roster overhaul given there dire form over the last 18 months.
“They’ve never had to pay overs to get players. In the past people have been happy to go to Brisbane and genuinely been happy to take unders to go to a successful team. But at the moment it looks like they’re going to have to pay overs to get players there.”
While Walters is set to make some brutal — but necessary calls — he is determined to squeeze the best out of what he’s currently got.
“I’m more than happy to be working with the current roster we have and it’s my job to get some more improvement out of the players,” he said.
“The roster in every organisation is a work in progress.
“Some rosters are more stable than others but everyone is always looking to improve their rosters and we’re the same.”
Originally published asAxe hovering over 18 Broncos players
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