Broncos have depth to cover loss of star hooker Breayley

New Broncos women’s coach Kelvin Wright insists the club has the depth to cover the loss of star hooker Brittany Breayley and predicts his new look squad boasts some rising talents who will surprise opponents in 2019.

The Broncos launched their NRLW season at a function on Monday in Brisbane with 10 new faces in the 22-woman squad which will aim to defend the title.

Breayley, the player of the competition in 2018, has joined the St George Illawarra Dragons this season but Wright said he had options in the dummy-half role.

“Brittany is obviously a fantastic player but we have got Lavinia Gould who had a fantastic season last year and she can play in the hooker role,” he said.

“We have got Amy Turner in our squad and she is more than capable of playing dummy-half. We also have a couple of utility players in Rona Peters and Mariah Storch as well. We are really comfortable with the players we have on board.”

Wright coached the Tweed Heads side in the South East Queensland women’s competition this season and last year was at the helm of the Kiwi Ferns in a Test match against the Jillaroos which provided him with a good insight into the women’s game and valuable experience.

“Hopefully I can bring that to the Broncos,” he said.

“When the opportunity arose to be involved in such a fantastic club and with the legacy from last year it is a great challenge to carry that on and continue that success.”

Wright is not so concerned about who the club has lost. It is the gains that excite him. The Broncos have also retained plenty of last year’s stars including captain Ali Brigginshaw and big guns Steph Hancock, Chelsea Baker, Amber Pilley, Julia Robinson and Meg Ward.

“There is a bit of untapped talent in our group and plenty of experience from last year after retaining 12 of the squad,” he said.

“We have got some exciting individuals. I think our style of play can really be fast tempo. In saying that our game will be focused around our defence.

“There is external pressure [to defend the title]. There are 10 new faces in the squad but we will set our own goals that we will make sure we tick off internally. If we are doing that each week there is no reason why we can’t achieve the same success.”

The retention of Brigginshaw was critical to the Broncos and Wright said he was looking forward to working with one of the game’s leading lights.

“The aura that she brings to the squad and her personality and leadership is pretty huge. I am really enjoying working with her so far,” he said.

“I am expecting big things from her. Last year she captained the Broncos and Jillaroos and then the Maroons this year. She is a top calibre player and our first signing. It was vital to get her back on board again.”

The Broncos have assembled a lineup that excites Wright across the park.

“Young Rosemary Vaimili Toalepai played in the Origin 18s this year and has had a fantastic season with Easts Tigers. I am really looking forward to seeing her go around outside some quality centres," he said.

"Millie Boyle is still learning the game but we saw what she can do in Origin. We have touch players Tamika Upton and Tarryn Aiken and they showed their worth at the nationals this year with what they can do in attack. There are a few there who can hopefully catch a few by surprise."