Walters’ big selection shock puts star on outer

Walters’ big selection shock puts star on outer

Broncos coach Kevin Walters has appeared to have made his first selection bombshell at Red Hill, axing Tom Dearden in favour of Brodie Croft at halfback.

Walters wasted no time off the back of the Broncos’ 34-18 loss to the Cowboys in the NRL trials over the weekend, starting Croft at No.7 on Tuesday during an opposed training session.

Many had believed Dearden was the talent to lead the Broncos into a new era after the 19-year-old became Brisbane’s first-choice halfback for the final 10 matches of last season.

“He is their future. I don’t think there’s any doubt that he is a quality player and once he gets experienced and gets a little bit more confidence around him, then he’s the way to go,” said league legend Peter Sterling told WWOS’ Sterlo’s Wrap last season.

But it appears Walters is not nearly as convinced by the youngster, handing Croft the keys to the engine room alongside Anthony Milford has been cleared to return from a hand injury.

It’s time the Broncos back Tom Dearden as their playmaker if the club is serious about his prospects (Getty)

Many around Brisbane are reading it as a very real sign that Croft will be Walters’ go-to halfback by the time Brisbane line up against the Eels in the first round of the 2021 season next weekend.

What is already clear is that there will undoubtedly be plenty of contention over who runs the park at Suncorp Stadium.

“If you don’t perform each week, you won’t be in the starting 17,” Milford said.

“They (Dearden and Croft) both do the same thing as playmakers. They both steer the ship around and are similar players, so it’s Kevvie’s headache to have.

Brodie Croft and Anthony Milford. (Getty) (Getty)

“Whoever steps up in the No.7 jumper will do the job for us.”

The Courier Mail’s Peter Badel tweeted: “Big news at Broncos … Brodie Croft training at halfback. Tom Dearden set to be axed for season opener against Eels after starting in the No. 7 in trial loss against Cowboys last Saturday night.”

While Nine’s Ben Dobbin said: “Kevin Walters looks set to make a shock move prior to rd 1. Brodie Croft to be the preferred halfback over Tom Dearden.”

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