August 12 2021 | Mike Colman

August 12 2021 | Mike Colman


I reckon the Broncos are on the right track with their signings for next season, but they still need to strengthen two key positions before they can challenge the top sides in the competition...

Obviously much of the talk over the past few months has been over the signing of Adam Reynolds, with Souths’ all-time highest point scorer a huge addition to the roster, but I think another newcomer will be just as valuable.

I refer to Kurt Capewell who is just the type of player coach Kevvie Walters needs to show the Broncos’ youngsters what NRL football is all about. Capewell might not be as flashy as some of the headline-grabbing forwards running around at other clubs, but he is a total professional who trains hard and never gives less than 100 per cent on the field. As a bonus, we all saw in Origin last year how well he can handle centre if called upon.

So those are the two top players that the Broncos will be bringing into the squad, but what are the two positions they have to fill before they are a top four side? First up is fullback.

There is no question that Tesi Nui has done a good job in the number one jersey this season, but he is still a long way from being the finished article. As Trevor Gillmeister so rightly pointed out in an interview this week, the top sides don’t just have good fullbacks, they have great fullbacks.

Papenhuyzen at the Storm, Mitchell at Souths, the Roosters’ Tedesco, and of course Tom Trbojevic at Manly. Players of that quality come along only rarely and sadly the Broncos let Reece Walsh slip from their grasp. They also had a red hot go at  Nikko Hynes but missed out to the Sharks.

They won’t want to be left at the starting gates in the race for the Roosters’ Joey Manu who is off-contract at the end of 2022. Manu is one of the best centres in the NRL but showed when filling in for an injured James Tedesco that he is just as effective at number one. He is currently in the sights of at least four clubs including the Broncos, but if they can meet his price of $900,000 to $1 million a season he would be a huge buy. Which leaves one gaping hole: hooker.

I am a big fan of Jake Turpin who is as tough as they come and will tackle anything that moves, but like Nui he lacks the X-factor that sets the very best number nines apart from the rest. There was some talk that the Broncos were keen on Canberra’s Josh Hodgson who is coming to the end of his career, and more recently there has been a whisper about former Sea Eagle Matt Parcell who has been going well in the UK.

I’m not sure either of them are a solution, but I reckon if the Broncos are ever going to be a perfect 10 again, they need to get a perfect nine and a perfect one.

What do you reckon?

AGREE: Joey Manu is a must buy and the Broncos will never match the top teams without a world class hooker like Damien Cook, Harry Grant or Brandon Smith. 

DISAGREE: The Broncos should stop trying to buy themselves out of trouble and show some faith in their youngsters. Tesi Nui has been outstanding at fullback this season and Jake Turpin never takes a backward step. They just need more experience before they are up with the best.