Hunt backs rookie Opacic to shine
Brisbane halfback Ben Hunt says debutant Tom Opacic is one of the hardest workers he has ever met in his time in rugby league.
Opacic will start in the centres for the Broncos when they travel to Sydney to play the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night.
The 21-year-old will finally get his first-grade chance after coming through the Broncos' system from a young age, slotting into the team to cover injuries to regular starters Jack Reed and Jordan Kahu.
Hunt believes Opacic is thoroughly deserving of his debut, and he said the rugged centre would not look out of place in the top grade.
"Tom really has worked for his debut," Hunt said.
"He spent a lot of time in the under-20s and then he progressed to training with the first grade squad. This is as well as the training he does for Redcliffe in the Intrust Super Cup.
"He's waited for his opportunity and given his time to the club.
"Tommy won't look out of place come Saturday against the Bulldogs."
Opacic will be Brisbane's sixth club debutant for the season following the first-time appearances of Jai Arrow, Tevita Pangai Jnr, Greg Eden, Travis Waddell and Herman Ese'ese.
Most interestingly, he will be the first player of Serbian descent to don a Broncos jersey.
Opacic will need to adjust to first grade quickly, with the Queensland schoolboy set to be playing opposite Bulldogs' rookie of the year contender Kerrod Holland.
Hunt said Opacic would relish the challenge of playing first grade, giving a glowing endorsement of the young Bronco in the process.
"I've had a lot to do with him at training over the years," he said.
"He's been in the system for a couple of years now and he's a great young kid.
"Tommy is a very hard worker. He may go about his business very quietly, but he always does what he has to do.
"I don't think he's going to let us down on the weekend because he's a quality young player."
Brisbane have named all six of their Queensland stars to back up from Wednesday night's State of Origin II.
It looms as a huge test for the Broncos, with it being their first trip to ANZ Stadium since last year's heartbreaking grand final loss.