Why Jack Bird fits the Broncos
It's a shame Jack Bird is injured and can't take his place for the Sharks at Suncorp Stadium this Friday night because I think Broncos fans would have been given their first look at a player who will make a significant contribution to the club over the next four years.
When it was announced in April that Jack would be coming to the Broncos it probably came a little bit out of left field but having had a bit to do with him in the Indigenous All Stars camp this year and seeing him develop as a player I think he's going to be a wonderful fit for the club.
When you are trying to win competitions you need the best players and in my eyes he's the best young kid coming through. He's a guy that is always willing to learn and always trying to better his game and because he was playing in the centres that week I had a bit of a chat to him about things he can work on.
He's a guy that doesn't wait for the game to come to him, he makes his own opportunities and creates for others around him. He's strong, he's fast, he's got good footwork for a big man and things seem to happen around him.
The best thing about Jack is that he's not relying only his natural ability. He's always trying to improve and that's the sign of a good player and a good teammate because he is trying to make himself better for everyone else around him.
Obviously one of the biggest questions about Jack joining the Broncos is where he is exactly going to fit into the team but whether it is going to be lock or left centre I'm sure that coach Wayne Bennett will have some ideas of how to get the best out of him and what will be the best fit for the team.
Wayne might look at pushing Josh McGuire back into the front row and playing Jack at lock because the more times he can get his hands on the ball the better he'll be and the more the Broncos will benefit.
Playing at left centre can be a good position for him as well because he can get into one-on-one situations with edge players out wide but you've just got to make sure he's seeing plenty of the ball.
It's a bit of a headache but it's a good headache to have.
Only six players in the history of the Broncos have been New South Wales Origin players whilst at the club but rather than being any bias against those from south of the border the reason you haven't seen too many New South Welshmen at the Broncos is that as a club we haven't had a history of going out and buying players from other clubs.
We've tried to develop from within and promote players that have been identified from the Queensland region and only really go out into the broader market if there has been something that we've really needed at that particular time.
It doesn't matter that Jack plays for New South Wales. At the end of the day he's coming up here to play for the Broncos and if he's selected – which I hope he is because it will mean he is playing well for the Broncos – he only plays three games a year for NSW.
It's not a negative to be concerned with because the majority of the time he'll be putting on those Broncos colours and doing the club proud.
Whether he plays for NSW, New Zealand or Queensland it's all about making sure they come here and play their best football because if they are doing that for the Broncos then those other representative teams will come from that.
We've gone out and got Jack because I think he's the best young talented kid coming through and he's a guy that if you want to win a competition you have got to have in your side because he does bring that x-factor.
The quicker he comes up here and gets used to the Broncos' culture and the way we do things up here the better off he'll be and being coached by Wayne will take him to another level again.
The race for that eighth position is probably down to three teams now – the Panthers, Dragons and Raiders – and if I was any of those top seven teams the Panthers are the ones I'd least like to face come finals. I still don't think they've really hit their straps this year but on their day they're one of the most dangerous sides in the whole competition. For some reason this year they haven't quite put it together but they can beat anyone on their day and if they can just sneak into the finals they are capable of doing plenty of damage.