Tom Opacic eyes NRL rebirth at Brisbane Broncos
JUST when Tom Opacic had finally put some NRL games together, he got hit with a double whammy.
But after waiting a year he may now have the chance to grab the Broncos' centre spot he wants so much.
In 2016 he looked like he had finally broken through, playing eight of the Broncos' last nine games in the centres.
That included a semi-final against the Cowboys.
But in that match things came apart.
After carrying a shoulder injury into the game, he then injured his opposite joint.
Amazingly, Opacic had to go through two shoulder reconstructions straight after the season.
It delayed his start to last year, and coupled with the good form of new recruit Tautau Moga, he never got a look in during 2017, finishing the year with Redcliffe.
"It is a bit better this year - I have had a great off-season, had a bit of a break and am now right back into it," said Opacic after he returned to training today.
"It was a massive difference (missing the whole pre-season).
"Pre-season is your whole preparation for the season and I really had none of that last year.
"It wasn't much to work on for the season - it killed my season getting the two shoulders reconstructed.
"I got back around round six or seven and then had a couple of ankle injuries - it pretty much wasted the season."
But now 23-year-old Opacic can spot a chance to get his name back in the side.
With Moga moved on to the Knights, and new recruit Jack Bird unlikely to be ready for round one, the Broncos will need an outside back when the competition starts.
"There is definitely an opportunity there," he said.
"That's what I do out here at training - get myself as fit as I can, get ready to play well in the trials and give myself the best chance I can.
"After having that taste of it (in 2016), it makes you more hungry."