Bennett disappointed by Wallace departure

Broncos coach Wayne Bennett says although the club didn't want to lose prop Jarrod Wallace to the Gold Coast, Brisbane just couldn't match the Titans' three-year offer. 

Wallace will join Neil Henry's men in 2017 – ending a great stint at the Broncos that has so far produced 64 NRL games of experience. 

The 24-year-old will be returning home – having played his first rugby league match for the Runaway Bay Seagulls at age four after being born in the same region.  

Following a brief stint in Coffs Harbour, Wallace moved back to the Gold Coast and signed with the Titans at age 16 – playing for the Gold Coast's SG Ball side and NYC side. 

Brisbane then swooped and signed the 108kg prop in 2011, and the Broncos have since developed him into one of the competition's best up-and-coming forwards. 

Wallace was rewarded for his development at the start of the year when he was named in the Queensland Emerging Origin camp, and the soon-to-be Titan has been touted as a future Maroon. 

Wallace will no doubt be a huge loss for Brisbane in 2017, and Broncos officials are hugely disappointed to let go of one of the nice guys of the NRL.  

"We didn't want to lose Jarrod, but it was always going to be hard not to because of the salary cap and the Titans' available money. We wish him well in the future," Bennett said.  

 


"We may now look at keeping Kodi [Nikorima] and Matt [Gillett], but it's a juggling act because at the end of the day you have a salary cap that you have to stay within. 

"Everyone wants to make it work, and it's not that we didn't want Jarrod or make him a good offer, but the Titans offered him more and we couldn't go with that. It will help us keep someone else in the future."

Wallace's move to the Gold Coast opens up an additional spot on Brisbane's roster for another young talent to impress. 

Friday night's clash with the Penrith Panthers at Suncorp Stadium now looms as an early audition for a starting spot in 2017, as both Wallace and retiring captain Corey Parker will vacate Brisbane's playing squad at the end of this year. 

The Broncos bench will consist of mostly home-grown talent on Friday, with the likes of Joe Ofahengaue, Jai Arrow and Tom Opacic all coming through Brisbane's under-20s system. 

The versatile Alex Glenn will now start in the centres, and the Broncos' young bench will have to come out and make the most of their opportunity in front of a passionate home crowd. 

"We've decided to play Alex in the centres," Bennett told NRL.com 

"Tom's pretty good at playing in the centres, but he hasn't taken the field in a month or so and he's only young. 

"Most of our young guys have come through the club. It's something we've always done well at the Broncos. We always have an eye on the future and the present.

"If you don’t give them the opportunities and start to get them ready now, then it will come back to bite you in the future. 

"We've lost Jarrod and Corey for next year. Those two spots will need replacing so we have to blood the young guys now." 

Video first featured at broncos.com.au