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Brenko a Bronco as club repels raid to re-sign rising stars

Brisbane has fended off rivals for the latest in-demand rookies with young guns Teui Robati and Selwyn Cobbo signing new deals while the club has also recruited Origin centre Brenko Lee.

Both teenagers have earned upgrades from budget deals, with Robati a "shining light" according to coach Kevin Walters after his NRL debut in a heavy loss to Melbourne on Thursday night.

The 19-year-old forward will remain at Red Hill until the end of 2024, while Cobbo was pursued by several rivals, including the Dragons, before adding another year to his Broncos tenure.

Brisbane announced later on Friday that they had signed Lee from Melbourne on a two-year deal from 2022 onwards while evergreen winger David Mead has also extended his stay with the Broncos until the end of 2022.

Mead, a versatile 33-year-old with 168 NRL games to his name, has scored four tries in nine games since rejoining the Broncos at the start of the 2021.

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Lee, a Brisbane-born 25-year-old with 67 NRL appearances and 24 tries to his name, will give the team plenty of experience, according to Walters.

"He is a Brisbane boy and a true Queenslander and he will fit right in here at the Broncos. The fact Brenko wants to join us, along with a lot of other players, shows that we are headed in the right direction," he said.

Lee enjoyed a memorable 2020 season with Melbourne, starting on a train and trial contact and finishing as a premiership winner and State of Origin player for Queensland after cementing his role as a starting centre.

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However, injuries this season have kept him from adding to his tally of 14 matches for Storm.

At 190 centimetres and 99 kilos, Cobbo shapes as a big-bodied fullback in the mould of Greg Inglis and Latrell Mitchell, and a silver lining to the loss of Reece Walsh to the Warriors.

Both he and Robati provided plenty of highlights during a pre-season trial in which Brisbane drew with Wynnum-Manly, in which Robati and senior forward Tevita Pangai went toe-to-toe all game.

Their retention provide a much-needed win for Brisbane's under-fire roster management, which has seen Broncos products Walsh, Sam Walker and David Fifita star at rival clubs this season with Xavier Coates to join Melbourne next year as well.

The pair's re-signing follows on from new deals for Kotoni Staggs, Brendan Piakura and Jordan Riki, as well as the marquee signing of Adam Reynolds, as Walters rejigs his Broncos stable.

"I really like TC's attitude, he's all about training hard and playing hard – and I like his mentality, he's very raw but also very physical," Walters said.

"He's been in the top four or five players in the Intrust Super Cup for the past month and he's got a heap of potential that we are looking forward to developing with him."

Teui Robati on the run during his Broncos debut.
Teui Robati on the run during his Broncos debut. ©Scott Davis/NRL Photos

Walters said Cobbo was close to making his NRL debut after being Brisbane's 18th player in recent weeks.

Cobbo has starred for Wynnum Manly in the Intrust Super Cup this season with 31 tackle busts in six games, along with three tries and six line breaks.

"Selwyn is great to watch, he moves really well and has a lot of attacking ability. Our job will be to work with him to help turn him into a complete footballer," he said.

"He is a real talent and it's exciting for everyone at the club that Selwyn has made the decision to stay at the Broncos to continue his footballing growth."