The Brisbane Broncos have been dealt a fresh blow as they prepare for 2023, with one of their most promising young talents requesting an immediate release.
Promising forward Keenan Palasia has reportedly informed coach Kevin Walters of his intention to quit the club as he becomes a focal point for a number of clubs looking to add depth to their back-row stocks.
The news comes just 12 months after Palasia knocked back a million-dollar offer from the Manly Sea Eagles to extend his stay in Brisbane until the end of 2023.
Now the 25-year-old is after a fresh start, per the Daily Telegraph – and the Gold Coast Titans are believed to be leading the race for his services. Palasia is a Palm Beach Currumbin junior and the possibility of a return home has been enough to force his hand.
2022 was a breakout year for Palasia, playing 22 games and becoming a mainstay in Walters' team as a bench utility capable of playing in the middle or as an edge forward. His standout form has increased his prospects of being an NRL starter elsewhere instead of biding his time behind the likes of Payne Haas and Patrick Carrigan.
Palasia confirmed that he'd asked the Red Hill club for a release.
“I've let Kevvie know I would prefer to head home,” Palasia told the Telegraph.
“He said he wants to keep me and there is a role for me within the squad.
“The Broncos have been good to me, which is why I stayed loyal last time. Kev has been great in how straight he is with his decisions and communication.
“But I feel I can be a starting player.
“My best years are ahead of me and I want to play at a club that I feel better suits my style of play.
With David Fifita still yet to extend his contract at the Titans amid heavy interest from elsewhere, the Robina club are looking for depth in their front row stocks, and have reportedly tabled Palasia a two-year deal for 2024-25.
Though the St George Illawarra Dragons have also expressed their interest, the possibility of a homecoming gives the Titans a clear edge in negotiations.