Broncos coach Kevin Walters is confident his side will step up to the challenge of the Rabbitohs on Friday night and has full faith in club debutant Jock Madden to help get the job done.
The home side will be without prop Payne Haas (suspension), winger Corey Oates (PCL strain) and Ezra Mam (suspension), with the five-eighth's absence giving off-season recruit Madden the opportunity to experience his goal of playing alongside skipper Adam Reynolds.
"Jock Madden has been here for six months, waiting for his opportunity, he gets it tomorrow night," Broncos coach Kevin Walters said at the club's captain's run on Thursday.
"He had a couple of trial games for us and what I've seen him do at training and also in the in the (Hostplus) Cup [with Norths Devils], he's been stand-out player there, so I just see a lot of skill in him and he's very tough player as well, which he'll need to be all of that tomorrow night.
"He's got great skills, very tough, good speed, he kicks the ball well and he’ll need to tackle well tomorrow.
"Tomorrow night's game time for him and I'm really thrilled … the first time he's going to be wearing a Broncos jersey in an NRL fixture, so that's very exciting for him and the club.
Broncos v Rabbitohs: Round 9
"He’s been very patient. He's been at the club six months now and so that's a long time, but it's great that he's playing, he's really excited.
"He’s got his family coming up from Sydney, so looking forward to a great performance from him tomorrow night."
When signing with the club, Madden said he could “learn so much” from Reynolds, and also filled in for him in the number seven jersey during the club’s Pre-Season Challenge matches.
At the time, the former Wests Tigers playmaker said the mentoring from Reynolds had given him the confidence to perform.
“He has that confidence in me, so learning from him day-in, day-out, watching him go about his business as well is really good,” Madden said.
The Broncos defeated the Rabbitohs twice last year, and while Reynolds missed their Round 1 match-up, he was instrumental in helping his side win their Round 9 encounter, scoring a try and booting five from five conversions and a penalty goal.
For coach Walters, the leadership and experience Reynolds has brought to the side since joining them last season has been a big factor in their success so far in 2023.
“I feel Adam's best football is still in front of him,” Walters said.
“We've seen some great signs from him this year, particularly, the last couple of weeks that he just knows how to get the boys around the park, he's enjoying himself and he's tackling well, which is the first time in his career.
"I'm sure he's looking forward to playing tomorrow night.
"But he's thankfully for us, he's got a Broncos jersey on, not the other colour.
“We went after him hard because we needed his leadership, his rugby league brains, his experience, all those things.
"And it's been so good for so many players in our club, he’s been great for the coaching staff as well, so here's a definite target for us and we're really thrilled that we've got him.
"Tomorrow night that he is playing against his former club ... (and) I remember way back when I changed clubs, you want to win and you want to play well to show everyone that you are the player that you are.
"And I'm sure he'll be in our in our top players list tomorrow night.”
Match: Broncos v Rabbitohs
Round 9 -
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane