Highly touted Broncos youngster Tesi Niu will make his NRL debut against the Sydney Roosters on Thursday night, coach Anthony Seibold has announced.
The 18-year-old will begin on the interchange against the reigning premiers, while Herbie Farnworth will be elevated to a starting position in place of suspended Kotoni Staggs.
“Tesi Niu will come off the bench, he’ll be the utility back,” Seibold told the Broncos website.
“With Herbie being promoted to the starting side, Tesi gets the opportunity – Xavier Coates wasn’t far way from that opportunity either.
“But I’ve seen Tesi be really consistent at training and he’s someone who we’ve got a really high regard for.
“The school he went to, Marsden State High, the principal and school teachers there have praised Tesi for how well respected he was, not because of his athletic ability but the way he carried himself as a person and a character.”
Niu joined an elite club when he made his Test debut for Tonga last year, featuring in a Test before he had played an NRL game. He will always remember that debut, helping to inspire his country to a stunning win over Great Britain.