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Renouf: Why Broncos must keep Staggs at centre long term

With Tyson Gamble playing well and Adam Reynolds joining the club next year, the Broncos need to commit to Kotoni Staggs as a strike centre.

There has been a lot of talk about Kotoni being groomed to take over the No.6 jersey longer term, although Gamble was recently signed to a new two-year deal after a strong run of form.

This is nothing against Kotoni but when I heard there was an agreement that the club move him into the five-eighth role as part of his new deal I thought that was ridiculous – he needs to stay at centre as a strike weapon without a doubt.  

We're getting Reynolds next year and with the way Gamble is playing, he will be the perfect complement for him in the halves.

Gamble has shown enough this year, it hasn't just been a couple of little hit-outs, he's been consistent enough in his footy that he should stay there at six. Reynolds will come in at seven which will be great for the Broncos.

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If anything I think it would be a waste moving Kotoni into the halves. Keep him and Herbie Farnworth as the centre pairing but work on using them better.

What they really need to focus on with Kotoni isn't moving him into the halves, it's getting him some more quality ball.

At centre you rely heavily on the guys inside you - they have to sort out those guys getting decent ball to the edges.

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Half the time with those guys they're just giving them the ball and asking them to do their best.

They do that too often, it's not good ball and putting them into holes but just dishing it out to them, asking them to stand and deliver, show us your strength and bowl someone over. Kotoni can do that, but they need better service to them as well.

As for the rest of the spine I reckon Tesi Niu needs to be kept on. He's off contract but another dilemma is the money his managers are demanding.

Tesi's been going well but he's only had a handful of good games - that doesn't warrant a big contract, to be honest.

We've been caught out in the past signing players to ridiculous contracts on potential. Tesi has had probably four good games, that doesn't warrant a huge upgrade.

He'll get shopped around but he's still young - if he has another breakout year and is doing it at fullback consistently, then you then have a look at upgrading the contract.

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Hooker is another tough one. Jake Turpin has been OK but you he's probably not in the top five hookers running round the NRL.

It's probably worth shopping around to see what's out there and I don't know what we have in the lower grades coming through. At one stage we'd signed every young hooker in the state.

Kevvie Walters would just be waiting for one of them just to put their hand up. It's not rocket science. Players are being given chances but at the moment the boys don't seem to want to take it.

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It's like Brodie Croft as well, they show glimpses but have some major flaws in their game. Jamayne Isaako has been the same, it's rocks and diamonds.

No one's been consistent enough, they have one really good game then rest on that for the next four. That's not what NRL footy is about.

The good news is the puzzle pieces are starting to come together for next year and we're building some good competition for spots so it will be up to the players to take their chances when they get them.

 

The views in this article do not necessarily express the opinions of the NRL, ARL Commission, NRL clubs or state associations.

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