The Brisbane Broncos are looking to the past to help their future, with coach Kevin Walters looking to his former Broncos teammates to help the current crop of young talent.
Walters reportedly wants club legend Steve Renouf to work with current centre Kotoni Staggs in an effort to boost his try-scoring output by adding some new tricks to his repertoire.
Staggs has developed a reputation as a strong ball-runner, as adept at running over the top of defenders as he is at getting around them.
While Staggs recovers from shoulder surgery, the senior Broncos are working on a plan to help him develop the subtle art of running on to an “out-ball”.
Walters and Renouf coined the term after forming a lethal combination in their playing days, with Walters passing into space and Renouf then using his strength and speed to steam onto the ball and break the line, as opposed to breaking the line through sheer brute strength.
The veteran duo also believe a tactical change could help Staggs cut down the frequency of his injuries.
“I'd love to work with Kotoni around his hole-running and running into space, maybe he wouldn't get so busted,” Renouf said, per AAP.
“Kotoni doesn't mind running over people and wanting contact. He reminds me of Justin Hodges.
“I (previously) pointed out to Hodgo that he'd have had fewer injuries and been more effective if he ran holes.
“Kotoni loves the contact too, but (if you) run thirty centimetres either side of the defender, you give yourself more space and are pushing through the line.
“Kevin was the master of throwing the out-ball pass for me. Adam Reynolds can do the same thing for Kotoni.”
While Walters admits that the game has changed a lot since the era that saw he and Renouf running around the paddock, but believes his former teammate makes a valid point and could be helpful in Staggs' development.
“Pearl was one of the great exponents of the out-ball so he knows what he is talking about and is most welcome to share his knowledge with Kotoni,” Walters said.
“It's part of Kotoni's artillery, but doing more of it will never go astray because Kotoni has good speed and a nice fend. They're the (same) skills Steve had to make that play really special.
“We also have Adam Reynolds who has a nice pass. Those two have had 20-odd games together, whereas me and Steve had upwards of 150 together, so I look forward to that relationship developing next year.”