Brisbane coach Anthony Seibold has placed his faith in the Intrust Super Cup to help prepare Tom Dearden to return to the rigours of NRL football, confirming that he will play halfback for the Wynnum Manly Seagulls in their key match-up against the Easts Tigers.
He was originally listed as 18th man for the Brisbane Broncos in their blockbuster against Melbourne on Friday night at Suncorp Stadium; but speaking at his weekly media conference today (Thursday, August 1), Seibold confirmed the news.
“Tom [Dearden] will play for Wynnum this weekend,” Seibold said.
“Tom hasn’t played a lot of footy since we beat the Warriors over there before the Origin series.
“He has only played four full games in the NRL ... I thought the best thing for him was to come back through the Queensland (Intrust Super) Cup.
“Wynnum are going really well in the Cup and he played a couple of games there earlier in the year.
“We will give him the opportunity to play there this weekend and make a decision on what we do going forward.”
Dearden saw a stunning rise to the top this season; with the former Palm Beach Currumbin and Tweed Seagulls junior star making his NRL debut for the Broncos in Round 8 against the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
A regular in the Queensland junior representative and Emerging Origin programs, the Mackay product has impressed at every step of his journey and is an inspiration to players around him - including fellow Broncos debutant this year Xavier Coates.
Unfortunately, Dearden suffered a syndesmosis injury in the Round 13 loss against the Titans, requiring surgery.
At the time, Broncos’ Head of Performance Paul Devlin said the club would take their time to ensure his return from injury was not rushed.
“It is a fairly sensible rehab time of five weeks plus, but he is an 18-year player, so we will take maximum caution with that," Devlin told the Broncos website.
“But he is a young player so we won’t be putting any pressure on him in that regard and we will do what is best for him in that regard.”
Match: Tigers v WM Seagulls
Round 19 -
Venue: Langlands Park
His recovery has been on track; prompting the Seagulls to name him in their lineup for their Round 19 match up against the Tigers.
The Broncos have named fellow Intrust Super Cup graduate, Redcliffe Dolphin Jake Turpin to play in the number 7 jersey for Friday night's showdown against the Melbourne Storm.
“Jake Turpin is doing a tremendous job in the seven jersey," Seibold said.
“He is a real competitor and having Segeyaro, McCullough and Turpin in the side at the moment is the best thing for us.”