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Kelly the beneficiary as Milford dropped again

Albert Kelly will play his first NRL game in seven years, replacing star No.6 Anthony Milford as Brisbane coach Kevin Walters opts for his fifth halves combination in just 11 games.

Milford has been dropped for the second time this year, his axing coming off the back of a 50-6 loss to Manly with fellow former Origin star Corey Oates also dumped to make way for the return of David Mead.

Kelly will partner Tyson Gamble in the halves for Brisbane as Milford again gets the chop, despite the fact he has featured in the club's only two wins in 2021.

Kelly joined the Broncos on a train and trial contract in the offseason after spending six seasons in the English Super League when he left the Titans in 2014.

Walters swings axe on Milford again as Kelly makes NRL comeback

He was banished from preseason training after gaining weight whilst serving his hotel quarantine but has hit top form at Souths Logan in the Intrust Super Cup to get another chance in the NRL.

Stand-in skipper Jake Turpin admitted the constant halves switching had made life tough at the Broncos but said Kelly would bring a form and composure to the side for Saturday’s clash with the Sydney Roosters.

"Obviously if Albie is getting picked there he has a wealth of experience," Turpin said.

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"He has played in England and has been setting the house on fire in the Q-Cup so if Albie comes into the team we have full confidence he will be able do the job.

"We’re really looking for anyone who comes into the side to put their hand up and just to do their job, they don’t have to do anything flash. They just have to come in and do their job."

Keenan Palasia will play his first NRL game since 2019 after being handed a starting spot for suspended back rower Jordan Riki while Kobe Hetherington, the son of former Queensland Origin hooker Jason Hetherington, will make his NRL debut at the age of 22 off the bench in place of hooker Danny Levi.

Hetherington has been starring for Souths Logan in the Intrust Super Cup and is the type of player the Broncos need after just one win in their last seven games.

"He [Hetherington] is one of those players I love playing with. Again if he comes into the side this weekend it’s going to be fun playing with him," Turpin said.

"He is one of those players that if he is next to you you know he is not going to let you down. He is tough as nails and he puts everything on the line each and every run and each and every tackle.

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"You see him here at training every week he has a bit of mongrel, he rips in and he is that player you really want to play with."

Dale Copley could be the third former Titan added to the side this week, he trained in the left centre position inside winger Mead with English powerhouse Herbie Farnworth kept out of training with the rehab group.

"[Copley and Mead] are very experienced players who have played for this club before and they’re handy to have in the squad and are good for the young boys coming through too," Turpin said.

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