Matt Gillett is keen to reignite some Broncos rivalries next season. Credit: NRL Photos Copyright: NRL Photos
Broncos back-rower Matt Gillett has no doubt Brisbane's first clash with the Bulldogs in 2014 will be full of atmosphere.
Gillett says the Broncos will be ready for a hostile reception when Ben Barba makes his return to ANZ Stadium to face his old club for the first time.
"It will be something massive for Benny if we have to travel down there to play the Bulldogs," Gillett told NRL.com. "Being Benny's first game against his old club you'll probably get a lot of haters down there and not a lot of support for him but it will be good for us just to go down there and get that one out of the road.
"It will obviously be a big game and Benny coming up here and joining us for the 2014 season is going to be a massive advantage for us."
The Bulldogs aren't the only rivals Gillett can't wait to face next season. Gillett made his NRL debut in a Round 1 clash with the Cowboys in 2010 that drew a crowd of 48,516 to Suncorp Stadium and because of that night he says it is a game he always looks forward to.
"There was a massive, massive turn-out for the game and is something that I'll never forget so I think that feeling gets me wishing that we could go up against them in Round 1 of the competition every year," the 25-year-old said.
Beyond the Queensland derbies against the Cowboys and Titans, some strong family connections means the Broncos' clashes with St George Illawarra are others that grab Gillett's attention.
Having been just four years of age at the time, Gillett has no recollection of the pain the Broncos caused Dragons fans in 1992 and 1993 with consecutive grand final defeats and says he is slowly managing to turn the allegiances of the die-hard red and whites in his family.
"My whole family, grandparents and parents, all went for the Dragons growing up so I knew nothing better than to go for the Dragons so just to play them is pretty special," he revealed. "Watching them growing up and having a few favourite players from that club and then coming out and actually playing against them is something special so that's one of the clashes I always look forward to in the year.
"My grandparents, their house was red and white all the time but it's all Broncos colours now which is good. They've got a little bit of Dragons stuff there still but not too much."