Tevita Pangai has vowed to be smarter about the way he asserts himself this season for the Broncos but won’t be curbing his aggressive nature on the field.
It is a delicate balancing act and Pangai admitted it was "a hard one" to get right, but after being suspended for eight games for three offences last year, including one Test for Tonga, it is one he must nail.
The Broncos need the 23-year-old's power and offloading ability each week but coach Anthony Seibold has elevated the Tongan international into the side’s leadership group and he also needs to set a standard and stay away from the judiciary.
"I have to be aggressive. That is what Seibs re-signed me for and I want to keep that but obviously with carry over points I have got to be a bit smarter," Pangai said.
"We have the NRL refs coming in [to training] and they are always onto me about repeat offences. I know where the line is.
"That is my game, a high intensity and power game. I just want to make the plays that inspire my teammates."
Staggs focused on keeping centre role
Pangai has been used as an edge forward and in the middle by Seibold.
With David Fifita likely to start as a left edge back-rower and new captain Alex Glenn on the right he may have to play in the No.13 jersey as he did on eight occasions in 2019.
The Broncos did not lose any of the six games that Pangai played as a starting back-rower and it is on an edge where he is at his best.
"I feel like I am an edge back-rower but I speak about selfless actions and if I have to play in the middle then that is what I will do," he said.
Brisbane's leadership group all have portfolios like cabinet ministers and it was suggested to Pangai that he was the new Minister for Public Affairs after he explained what his responsibilities were.
"I am in charge of all the little things, making sure the boys do their promos and representing the club off the field and doing right by the community and our values as a club," Pangai said of his new role.
Pangai, Payne Haas, David Fifita and Matt Lodge have all proven to be devastating with the ball but the focus of this pre-season for the forwards is their defence.
The 58-0 elimination final loss to the Eels highlighted deficiencies and Pangai said the group had looked back at the best Broncos defensive teams of the past to draw inspiration.
Pangai said the pre-season had been tough in 30-plus degree heat most days and reminded him of some of his toughest under Ricky Stuart when he was at Canberra.
Behind the scenes with Alex Glenn
It is the first full pre-season the players have had under Seibold and Pangai said there had been give and take between both parties over the past 14 months.
"It’s not only a full pre-season but a full season we’ve had under Seibs and now we know how he works and how he wants us to play,” Pangai said.
"He has adapted to us as well. We went to him as a senior leadership group and playing group about how we want to play.
"You see the talent that we have and we are not a structure team. I know it worked down at South Sydney but I think he has really adapted to how we want to play footy."