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Broncos playmaker Tom Dearden.

Kevin Walters will keep his powder dry on his 2021 playmaking puzzle as the Broncos do the same with the contracts of spine members Tom Dearden, Anthony Milford and Andrew McCullough.

Dearden's future has been of significant interest in recent months, with the off-contract 19-year-old rated one of the best young halfbacks in the game and most recently linked to North Queensland.

The rising No.7 has said more than once his preference is to stay at the club he first joined aged 13, a loyalty that has Brisbane making him their retention priority.

Dearden's camp is however in no rush to decide his future and wants to get a feel for Walters's coaching and Brisbane's bounce-back from a 2020 wooden spoon before recommitting.

It's an approach the Broncos are happy to accommodate, with plans to table a retention offer once the NRL season starts in March and Walters's all-important first pre-season is completed.

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With Milford coming off contract as Brisbane's highest-paid player, the club will also gauge his early-season form before engaging in any talks.

McCullough is also unlikely to be released to the Dragons at this stage.

Brisbane are steadfastly refusing to contribute anything beyond the estimated $150,000 already paid in his wages since November 1.

A two-year offer is understood to have been floated by St George Illawarra, but McCullough's leadership qualities also hold plenty of water given Brisbane's youthful squad.

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On the paddock Jake Turpin's impact off the bench could well see McCullough land the No.9 jumper while Dearden is favourite to start at the scrumbase ahead of Brodie Croft.

Walters said on Thursday however that Dearden, Croft and Milford would continue to rotate positions through training with an eye to the trials at the end of February.

The new coach lauded the temperament and talent on show in Dearden's 17 NRL games, but also spoke about bringing the young half along at his own pace.

"He came into first grade at a young age for different reasons," Walters said while in camp on the Sunshine Coast. 

"We like what we see in Tom. He's a good young fella. He's got lots of ability. For Tom it's about getting some games into his system.

"He's only a very young fella in such a key position. He shows great maturity in that regard so again the training is very important for him.

"Spending time with not only his other halves but his back-rowers, fullbacks and everyone that plays around him."

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A similar training rotation policy has been adopted for McCullough and Turpin in regards to the hooking spot while Tesi Niu and Herbie Farnworth are being sized up at centre.

"The trials will sort a lot of that out for us," Walters said.

Also still to be decided is the Broncos captaincy, with Alex Glenn keen to take on those duties again in 2021, but no certainty to do so as Walters weighs up his options.

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He has previously flagged Milford as a contender for the role and did so again on Thursday.

"There's certainly some guys putting their hand up and Milf's one of those players," he said.

"But we want all of our players to be leaders. It doesn't matter if they're captain or not. We want them all to stand up and play the way that they can play."

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