How Broncos could line up in 2020

MATT Gillett's sudden retirement from the NRL has robbed the Broncos of the club's most feared defender and exposed Brisbane's lack of forward experience.

Gillett yesterday announced his immediate retirement from the NRL due to a serious shoulder injury.

Gillett, 31, had forged a reputation as one of the NRL's most brutal defenders over 10 seasons and 200 appearances.

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He was a pillar of consistency on Brisbane's right edge and also played 20 State of Origin matches for Queensland and 12 Tests for the Kangaroos.

Gillett made 5814 tackles for the Broncos at an average of 29 every game.

His departure has left coach Anthony Seibold with a void of experience in Brisbane's forward pack ahead of his second season in charge of the Broncos.

Brisbane Broncos coach Anthony Seibold looks on as Matt Gillett announces his retirement. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Peled
Brisbane Broncos coach Anthony Seibold looks on as Matt Gillett announces his retirement. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Peled

Apart from 259-game veteran Alex Glenn, the Broncos' forward pack is comprised of mostly youngsters.

Payne Haas (24 matches), David Fifita (35), Thomas Flegler (23) and Patrick Carrigan (19) are all in the infancy of their promising careers.

Matt Lodge (59), Tevita Pangai (72) and Joe Ofahengaue (90) are slightly more experienced, but far from NRL veterans.

While his body was shot and unable to continue playing, Gillett, at his best, was a player the Broncos could ill-afford to lose.

His departure will pave the way for Brisbane's generation next to see more game time, however hard heads are the players that win premierships.

After an outstanding 2019 campaign, Fifita can take his game to another level with a permanent berth in the second row.

 

Instead of being Brisbane's Mr Fix It, Glenn may now get a chance to park himself in the back-row, giving the Broncos some much-needed experience in their forward pack.

Brodie Croft remains on Brisbane's radar. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Brodie Croft remains on Brisbane's radar. Picture: Alix Sweeney

The Broncos are expected to make a play for Melbourne halfback Brodie Croft now that Gillett has vacated their playing roster.

However an experienced forward could be what the club needs most if they are to be successful in 2020.

Seibold has already laid down the law following Brisbane's humiliating 58-0 finals loss to Parramatta, warning no one's spot is safe.

But he may need to work through teething problems and find marginal improvements in the Broncos rather than seek premiership glory in 2020.

 

POSSIBLE BRONCOS ROUND 1 TEAM

1. Jamayne Isaako

2. Corey Oates

3. Darius Boyd

4. Kotoni Staggs

5. Herbie Farnworth

6. Anthony Mlford

7. Tom Dearden/Brodie Croft

8. Matt Lodge

9. Jake Turpin

10. Payne Haas

11. David Fifita

12. Alex Glenn

13. Joe Ofahengaue

14. Jack Bird

15. Patrick Carrigan

16. Tevita Pangai Jr

17. Thomas Flegler