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Ofahengaue stood down by Broncos for two games

Brisbane have stood down Joe Ofahengaue for two NRL games after he pleaded guilty earlier this month to being in charge of a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol level in excess of the legal limit.

In a statement released on Friday afternoon, the club said it decided to stand him down after "taking into consideration that it was not his first driving offence in recent years".

The club said it had been working closely with the NRL Integrity Unit, which completed its investigation into the matter this week, and the NRL was satisfied with the punishment handed down by the Broncos.

Broncos CEO Paul White said the club was committed to setting the highest standards for player behaviour.

"Joe is really disappointed in himself and very remorseful for what he has done," White said.

"As a club, our goal is to set a standard for our players and Joe understands that he must pay a price for his actions that night.

"That price impacts on his teammates as he will miss the opening two rounds of the NRL season – but we know that Joe has learned from his mistake."

We know that Joe has learned from his mistake.

Paul White

With Matt Lodge also out indefinitely with a partial ACL tear the trial clash on Saturday night with the Titans at Redcliffe looms as an audition for some of Brisbane's young forwards.

"We have plenty of good young players there," coach Anthony Seibold said on Thursday.

"Rhys Kennedy showed last year he is capable of playing NRL. Jordan Riki was very good in the All Stars for the Maori team and he will get more time this week.

"Ethan Bullemor and Jamil Hopoate have been very consistent in Queensland Cup over the last 12 months so we will have a look at those guys and whether we play Tevita [Pangai jnr] in the back row or through the middle as well."

Riki is 19 but is regarded at Red Hill as the next outstanding young forward on the production line that has already churned out Payne Haas, David Fifita, Tom Flegler and Pat Carrigan.

The former Junior Kiwis captain is on the Broncos development list and technically not available until July 1 but with Lodge and Keenan Palasia [ACL] on the injured list the club will investigate gaining special dispensation from the NRL to allow Riki to play earlier.

Seibold had a chuckle when he likened Riki to one of New Zealand’s most ferocious forwards of the early 1990s who was known as the "baby faced assassin".

Young Broncos forward Jordan Riki during the Maori All Stars camp.
Young Broncos forward Jordan Riki during the Maori All Stars camp. ©NRL Photos

"Jordan is a baby face. He looks like Brendon Tuuta,” Seibold grinned.

"He handled himself really well in good company at the All Stars and came back with a smile on his face. He spent the week with Adam Blair and Jesse Bromwich and guys he looked up to a kid and acquitted himself very well."

Another concern for the Broncos is the hamstring injury to skipper Alex Glenn who is racing the clock to be fit for the trip to Townsville.

"Alex is in rehab but we still expect him to be there or thereabouts for round one he has done his gym work and he is progressing OK. We will be smart about what we do there," Seibold said.

"The NRL season is a marathon not a sprint. We’ve got 24 opportunities during the year and if he is touch and go for round one we wouldn’t risk him."

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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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