Returning Test and Origin star Matt Gillett will be road tested at lock as Broncos coach Anthony Seibold adds further heat to the battle for back row and bench positions in Saturday's trial against the Titans.
Gillett will make his return from a neck and shoulder injury against the Titans in an unfamiliar position but one Seibold said he would handle.
The Broncos have Gillett, Tevita Pangai jnr, Alex Glenn, David Fifita and Jaydn Su’A all in the frame to claim the starting positions at 11, 12 and 13 for the round one Telstra Premiership clash with the Melbourne Storm.
All eyes will be on Gillett on Saturday night at Cbus Super Stadium as he plays his first game for Brisbane since the round five clash with Newcastle last year.
"He’ll play through the middle and it is a new position and a new role for 'Gillo' and one we just want to have a look at this weekend," Seibold said.
"That allows David Fifita to start. We know how well 'Gillo' plays on the edge but we just want to simplify his role in his first game for a long period of time.
"He’ll spend some time there in the middle and perhaps at the end of the game he’ll spend some time on the edge. He brings a lot of effort and a really high work rate and we just want him out there carrying the footy and getting his body in front defensively."
Seibold said it was "a great opportunity" for 19-year-old Fifita to put his stamp on a starting position after he played 11 games for Brisbane in his rookie season after starting in the under 18s Mal Meninga Cup.
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"He showed glimpses in the All Stars game of what he can produce and glimpses last year. Physically he is in really good shape and I don’t think age has got too much to do with anything," Seibold said.
"I am really excited about giving David that opportunity and it is up to him to take it with both hands because he has got some competition there with 'Gillo' and Jaydn Su’A."
"The challenge for David is to be consistent and we are working hard at providing the right environment for him so he can be.
"He didn’t do much of the pre-season last year because he started with the Souths-Logan under 18s so he’s had a pretty meteoric rise, so essentially this is his first pre-season. It is baby steps and we are looking at marginal gains from Dave."
Seibold said he had plenty of options to fill his four-man interchange bench against Melbourne.
"Jaydn Su’A can play as an edge back-rower or through the middle. Tommy Flegler has put his hand up in the first two trial games and Pat Carrigan has worked really hard," he said.
"I thought Shaun Fensom showed his toughness and experience last week so he gets another opportunity.
"Kotoni Staggs is putting a lot of pressure on Jack Bird and Jimmy Roberts. They will get first crack and Kotoni will come off the bench and spend a bit of time in the centres.
"I’ve got a really good idea of what the team looks like but there is plenty of competition for the interchange bench."
Anthony Milford was cleared for full training on Wednesday after recovering from a hamstring injury but Seibold said the club had decided it was best to rest him.
Pangai (hamstring) is also being rested this weekend but Seibold said both he and Milford would be fit for round one.