Sean O'Sullivan isn't going anywhere.  (AAP Image/Dan Pele)
Sean O'Sullivan isn't going anywhere. (AAP Image/Dan Pele)

Broncos won’t let O’Sullivan walk

THE Broncos have rejected the Cowboys' request to sign Sean O'Sullivan to ensure they have a contingency plan for first-choice halves Anthony Milford and Tom Dearden.

North Queensland attempted to secure O'Sullivan with recruitment chiefs making inquiries with the Broncos during the week to help bolster their halves.

The Cowboys have been using John Asiata at five-eighth following the axing of Jake Clifford and the shock setback to Te Maire Martin, who is out indefinitely after suffering an unexplained bleed to his brain.

It is understood North Queensland were prepared to use O'Sullivan, who played one NRL game for the Roosters last season, immediately, but the Broncos could not afford a further erosion of their playmaking stocks.

Broncos coach Anthony Seibold signed off on a "compassionate release" for Kodi Nikorima three weeks ago, leaving O'Sullivan as his Plan B understudy to the new Milford-Dearden scrumbase alliance.

The reality is O'Sullivan faces an uphill battle to break into the Broncos' top squad.

An off-season recruit from the Roosters, O'Sullivan was hoping to get his big break when halfback Nikorima joined the Warriors, only to lose out to 18-year-old Dearden.

The rookie's rise presents a major impediment at Red Hill for O'Sullivan, who turns 21 in August and will continue to play second fiddle if Dearden holds his fitness and form.

O'Sullivan has spent the whole year in reserve grade. Picture by Peter Wallis.
O'Sullivan has spent the whole year in reserve grade. Picture by Peter Wallis.

Broncos coach Seibold is a massive fan of the supremely gifted Dearden, believing the Mackay product can be the 10-year halfback that eventually steers Brisbane to a premiership.

O'Sullivan is off-contract at season's end but has an option in his favour to remain at the Broncos in 2020.

The rising playmaker has been outstanding for feeder-club Norths in the Intrust Super Cup this season, winning five of seven games as halfback to steer the Devils into the top four.

O'Sullivan will confront big-name Broncos teammate James Roberts today when the Devils take on Wynnum Manly in an Intrust Super Cup showdown at Bishop Park.