Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett has backed new recruit Korbin Sims to play the best football of his career ahead of the Broncos' season opener against the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks at Southern Cross Group Stadium.
Sims arrived at Red Hill in the off-season after six up-and-down years at the Newcastle Knights – the lowlight being consecutive wooden spoons in 2015 and 2016.
But Sims has now returned to the club that first signed him as a teenager in 2008, with the 25-year-old set to start at prop on Thursday night in what will be his first NRL appearance for the Broncos.
Sims will take Josh McGuire's spot in the front row, with McGuire set to take on a new role – starting at lock in place of the retired Corey Parker.
It means Sims will get to play in his preferred position, but with that comes added expectations. It's a fact not lost on Bennett who said he expects Sims to prove his worth after a below average 2016 at the Knights.
"He's been really good since he got here. I'm very pleased that we managed to sign him," Bennett said.
"He was an ex-Bronco so he was really keen to come back to the club and do well. He doesn't look out of place at all.
"His best is yet to come. He's had about four years of social loafing. I think he's ready to show us what he's really got."
Brisbane will be out to prove the critics wrong, with many expecting the loss of Parker to spell the end of their top four hopes.
A huge key to a successful season will be the form of two of the Broncos' most unpredictable players – superstar five-eighth Anthony Milford and lightening quick centre James Roberts.
Bennett has backed both to take the game on at every occasion this season.
"The game has changed a lot. There is a lot more structure in it then there used to be," he said.
"If we can play some ad lib football then that would be great because that's what we are aiming for.
"A guy like Anthony can do that when he's given the opportunity, and I think we have a few others who are capable of that as well.
"James Roberts is one of them and he's a lot more comfortable at the club now.
"He's playing great and is a different young man to what he was when he came here 12 months ago."