Folau's defection not a distraction: Te'o

Brisbane forward Ben Te’o insists the Broncos won’t be distracted by this week’s hysteria surrounding Israel Folau’s defection to AFL when they travel to Brookvale Oval on Sunday.<br><br>Folau has dominated headlines since announcing his decision to accept a four-year deal with Greater Western Sydney, with coach Ivan Henjak forced to call a halt to the frivolity after team-mates produced a Sherrin at training yesterday.<br><br>Having finally crept back into the top eight on the back of three consecutive wins, the Broncos face one of the most daunting trips in the NRL against an in-form Manly side this weekend but Te’o said they remained focused on the task at hand.<br><br>“The same happened with ‘K’ (Karmichael Hunt) last year and maybe we were a little bit affected by it but I think we’re a bit more mature and know how to handle it now,” Te’o told NRL.com.<br><br>“We know that we still have to go out and do our own job. I don’t think anyone is bothered by it.<br><br>“We’ve still got a job to do this year and Israel still has a job to do this year so that’s what we intend to do.”<br><br>Te’o said the timing of Folau’s announcement ahead of their trip to Brookvale could actually work in the club’s favour, knowing that they can’t afford to let outside distractions affect them.<br><br>“We’ll definitely be ready for them – there are no worries about that,” he said. “The Sea Eagles have plenty of talent and plenty of rep players.<br><br>“You always love testing yourself against the best. They’ve got a great forward pack with guys like Josh Perry and in my position Anthony Watmough who the last two years has been the benchmark.<br><br>“I want to see how good I am compared to him so I’m looking forward to testing myself against him.”<br><br>Te’o could well prove to be a key weapon for Brisbane this week.<br><br>Having endured an up-and-down first season with the club in 2009, he is in career-best form this year after a daunting off-season that saw him hit the training paddock well before any of his Broncos team-mates.<br><br>“I put in a lot of work,” Te’o said. “I needed to get fitter, basically. I dropped a few kilos and did a lot of running in the off-season just to prepare for the Broncos’ off-season.<br><br>“I started okay in 2009 but then I got injured and then I was suspended so I struggled to find some form.<br><br>“Last year didn’t go the way I wanted it to go so I thought this year I’ll put in the work and make sure I start off well.<br><br>“It’s good, I’m reaping a few rewards – but there is still a long way to go.”<br><br>Te’o’s recent form also looks like securing his future at the club. Off contract at season’s end, he had previously been rumoured to be on his way out late last year but is now close to inking a new deal to stay with the Broncos beyond 2010.<br><br>“I’m in talks with the club now and hopefully we’ll get something sorted out soon,” he said.<br><br>“I want to stay here, it’s a good club and I’m enjoying playing football here as well as living here.”<br><br><b>Late NRL news:</b><br>•&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Parramatta has lost giant winger Eric Grothe to a knee injury, with Krisnan Inu coming in to take his place.<br><br>•&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Dragons centre Matt Cooper will make his return against the Warriors on Sunday after injuring his hip in State of Origin I.<br><br>•&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Wests Tigers utility Daniel Fitzhenry has succumbed to a hamstring injury and will be replaced by Mitch Brown for tonight’s clash with the Bulldogs.