The Brisbane Broncos have confirmed a 20-man squad to take on the Wynnum Manly Seagulls in this weekend's opening NRL trial.

While the attention of the rugby league world will be on the NRL All Stars match at Parramatta between an Indigenous and Maori side, or the opening weekend of the English Super League, the Broncos will play the first of three trials before the season starts against the Queensland Cup outfit.

In a surprising move - a game normally reserved for fringe players and those outside the top 17 - Kevin Walters will go into the match against the Seagulls with 13 players holding NRL experience.

It's the same match that Reece Walsh announced himself last year for the club before his eventual move to the New Zealand Warriors.

This year, it will be Ezra Mam looking to break out of the shadows as he gets ready to fight for a spot in the halves. His partner for the game will be Tyrone Roberts, who has been on a train and trial contract with the Broncos over the summer.

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 21: Tyrone Roberts of the Titans passes the ball during the round 6 NRL match between the Titans and the Knights at Cbus Super Stadium on April 21, 2019 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)


Jamayne Isaako will play fullback for the Broncos in the match, while Brenko Lee is also set to play his first game for the club following a move from the Melbourne Storm. Jordan Pereira, who has moved from the St George Illawarra Dragons, has also been named in the run-on side for the Broncos.

Kiko Manu and Ethan Quai-Ward round out the backline, on the wing and at centre respectively.

The forward pack will see Thomas Flegler lead the way, alongside Keenan Palasia, Brendan Piakura and Kobe Hetherington, all of whom have first grade experience under their belt. Corey Jensen, who has moved from the North Queensland Cowboys, is also named on the bench.

Cory Paix, who is likely to fight for the number 14 jersey in Kevin Walters' side, will play at dummy half during the match, while Billy Walters has been named on the bench.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 22: Cory Paix passes the ball during the Brisbane Broncos NRL training session on February 22, 2019 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Zac Hosking will be looking to impress as the other second-rower, but it's Te Maire Martin who brings with him the most inspiring story.

He had been all but retired from rugby league, but clearance from doctors have allowed him to return with the Broncos on a train and trial deal.

The bench will also feature Fijian Ben Nakubuwai, Tyrone Amey, Ben Te Kura and Deine Mariner.

The experienced team is in direct competition with what other teams have already announced for the following week, with the South Sydney Rabbitohs not likely to play a single player from their grand final losing team to the Penrith Panthers in their first trial against the North Queensland Cowboys in Cairns.

The match will kick-off at 5pm (AEDT) - 4pm (local time) on Saturday, February 12 and be played at BMD Kougari Oval in Wynnum.

Broncos team to play Wynnum Manly Seagulls

1. Jamayne Isaako
2. Kiko Manu
3. Brenko Lee
4. Ethan Quai-Ward
5. Jordan Pereira
6. Ezra Mam
7. Tyrone Roberts
8. Thomas Flegler
9. Cory Paix
10. Keenan Palasia
11. Brendan Piakura
12. Zac Hosking
13. Kobe Hetherington

14. Te Maire Martin
15. Billy Walters
16. Corey Jensen
17. Ben Nakubuwai
18. Tyrone Amey
19. Ben Te Kura
20. Deine Mariner


  1. Te Maire Martin. Retired after a brain bleed.

    This ought to pose an ethical dilemma for the NRL. Do they confirm his contract with the Broncs, or do they say “duty of care – we can’t sanction you coming back into a contact sport”?

    If they let him start playing again, what does that say about their attitude to head knock and to long-term (post retirement) welfare?

    If I were Peter V’Landys, Andrew Abdo and Graham Annesley, I would first engage with the NRLPA (otherwise they risk having the NRLPA snipe at them, whatever decision they make).

    The NRLPA will probably want (not unreasonably):
    a) to let Martin play
    b) to have the NRL indemnify him for the cost of any treatment related to brain trauma, in his post-career life.

    At this point, the NRL and the NRLPA can settle down to a serious discussion about compensation for all head-trauma injuries in later life, and from where the money will be found to fund this. It’s a discussion that has to be held sooner or later, and this seems to be a good time to start.

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