Te’o to start against old club as injury woes hit Broncos

first_imgRugby League Ben Te’o will play second row against his former club Wests Tigers in his first starting game of the year as the Broncos grapple with a mounting injury toll. Te’o trained in the No.11 jersey yesterday and will take the place of skipper Alex Glenn who is out of action for up to eight weeks with an MCL after a cannonball tackle by Bulldog Reimis Smith on Saturday night. The Broncos have other injury concerns. Matt Lodge (knee) and Kotoni Staggs (hamstring) did not train, with both injuries understood to be more serious than first thought. Hooker Jake Turpin has not recovered from a knee injury and also won’t be available for the trip to Leichhardt Oval on Friday night. Star back-rower David Fifita (knee) is also a week away from playing at least. Adding to Brisbane’s woes are a knee injury to centre Herbie Farnworth who did not train with the main squad on Tuesday. The English-born flyer will need to pass a fitness test on Thursday with Richie Kennar on standby. Winger Xavier Coates, who is expected to play against the Tigers, also trained with his thigh strapped. Teo, who has played five games off the bench this year for Brisbane, will start in the NRL for the first time since he tasted premiership success with Souths in 2014. His elevation against the club he made his first-grade debut for in 2007 is timely. “He’s going back to Leichhardt where he used to play so I think he is pretty excited about that,” prop Payne Haas said. “You can tell that he has been everywhere and he is pretty legit. He has succeeded highly in union and league. I’ve learned off him and been a sponge off him so it has been pretty good having him around.” Utility Cory Paix said the presence of Te’o in the starting line-up, with the experienced Glenn and Lodge out, was a boost. “Definitely a lot of leadership,” Paix said when asked what Te’o would bring to the table. “He stood up the most when he first came to the club and helped us young boys with a lot of information about the game and how it helps you go about your business. “He will come into the side and do a job there. He is a great player. “Ben is a big body and very aggressive, so as a nine I will look to use him on the short edges. He is very threatening there in the back-row so I’m sure most halves wouldn’t want to tackle him.” Paix, who played in the halves for most of his career, has been thrown in the deep end after Turpin’s injury and the release of Andrew McCullough to Newcastle, but the 20-year-old is relishing the challenge after a baptism of fire on debut in the 59-0 loss to the Roosters. “I like the physicality of playing in the middle, so it’s a good test for me and being part of one of the greatest clubs in history and playing alongside some of these players at the club is a dream come true,” Paix said. – nrl.comlast_img read more