Broncos coach Anthony Seibold has highlighted the importance of 19-year-old prop Payne Haas to the side after insisting he is now a must in the starting line-up.
Haas, who played 80 minutes against Canberra last week in his just his second game as a starter, will start against the Cronulla Sharks on Saturday night despite the return of Matt Lodge from injury and Tevita Pangai jnr from suspension.
Haas and Lodge will line up in the front-row and Pangai will start at lock. Joe Ofahengaue reverts to the bench alongside Kotoni Staggs, David Fifita and Thomas Flegler.
It is a sign of Haas's meteoric rise that Seibold said he did not see him as a bench player even with all his first-choice forwards available for the first time.
"Payne has been outstanding the last two weeks. He's won the coach's award and the players' player two weeks in a row," Seibold said.
"Payno is a player that needs to start the game and he is a player that can play long minutes. He has an extraordinary ability to work hard and repeat his efforts. We need him out there. I don't think he needs to play 80 minutes every week but last week we were down a little bit in experience.
Broncos v Sharks - Round 7
"He is only 19, so I am not saying he's experienced, but last week we needed all hands on deck. Payno is a starting player for me."
The fly in the ointment for the Broncos, and the one glitch in Haas's game as well, has been missed one-one tackles for Brisbane under fatigue.
"At times we have missed crucial one-on-ones," Seibold said.
"Payne missed one tackle all game [against Canberra] but it was for a try when Bateman went through him close to the line. The week before he missed [two] but one was the one on Chee Kam to lose the game. The missed tackles we are making are costly."
Seibold said the Broncos made five line breaks against the Raiders and that 22 points should have been enough to win. It was defensive lapses that cost the side, not issues with the attack or spine.
"There were too many one-on-one misses. It is not system errors," Seibold said.
"That is where we need to find our improvement. It is an individual focus we need to be better with our one-on-one contact."
Half Kodi Nikorima left training several minutes early on Thursday with a bump on a cork he sustained against Canberra but moved freely in the captain's run on Friday.
Teenage half Tom Dearden is in the extended squad but Seibold said Nikorima would be right to play the Sharks
"We named Tom Dearden in our 21-man squad so if there are any dramas Tom will come in but we don't envisage that," Seibold said.
"Tom has been outstanding for Wynnum and it is a good reward for him.
"We had to have a check on Macca [Andrew McCullough] earlier in the week. He had a bit of a facial injury so I had to have some coverage there if he didn't play but he got cleared."
Pat Carrigan drops out of the 17 that played Canberra but he won't play Intrust Super Cup this weekend. Seibold will keep him fresh ahead of a gruelling 11-day period for the Broncos from last Sunday's clash with Canberra through to next Thursday's away blockbuster against Souths.
"We've got three games in 11 days so we need to make sure we keep a couple of fresh bodies," Seibold said.
"It is great to have everyone available after a disrupted start with our middles.
"It was great news from the specialist on Wednesday morning to have Lodgey back, who I think was probably one of our best forwards in the earlier rounds when he's played. He will start tomorrow night.
"We thought we made some good strides the last couple of weeks and we'll get a good indication of where we are at against Cronulla."