CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 12: Kobe Hetherington of the Broncos leaves the field after being sent off during the round 14 NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and the Brisbane Broncos at GIO Stadium, on June 12, 2021, in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

Newly appointed Brisbane Broncos head of football Ben Ikin has begun his reign by re-signing 22-year-old forward Kobe Hetherington, while also reportedly being in talks with young fullback Tesi Niu in regards to a new deal.

Announced today, the Broncos have extended Hetherington's contract till the end of 2023.

Beginning his 2021 rugby league campaign with the Broncos affiliate Intrust Super Cup team the South Logan Magpies, outstanding form earned him a spot on the first-grade team's roster for their upset win against the Sydney Roosters in Round 11.

Only six games into his NRL career the young forward, and son of former Bulldogs great Jason Hetherington, has impressed coaches, teammates and most importantly, Ikin.

Broncos coach Kevin Walters recently stated his delight to retain Hetherington's services for the future.

"Kobe is a player of strong character that suits the type of person we need to have on our roster – he’s honest & hardworking and is well respected at our club," Walters said.

And, teammate Jake Turpin similarly shared the same view, stating: “Kobe is one of those players who if he is next to you, then you know that he’s not going to let you down. He’s tough as nails and he puts everything on the line with each and every run and each and every tackle".

Importantly staving off efforts from other clubs and getting Hetherington locked in for the immediate future shows the initial pieces of Ikin's vision for the re-build the Broncos are putting together.

News Corp is also suggesting that another critical aspect of this re-build involves the extension of emerging Broncos fullback Tesi Niu.

Brisbane Broncos Training Session
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 02: Tesi Niu looks to kicks the ball during a Brisbane Broncos NRL training session at the Clive Berghofer Centre on June 02, 2020 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

In an effort to not repeat their past, the Broncos are looking to re-sign Tesi Niu before he gets away from them. With a bitter taste still in their mouth from the departures of both David Fifita, and at the time developmental player Reece Walsh, the Broncos are eager to pen the 19-year-old as soon as possible.

Being regarded by Broncos scouts last year as their best fullback prospect since Darren Lockyer, making his debut for Tonga in 2019 as an 18-year-old and posting a breakout two-try performance against the Sharks this past weekend are all reasons why Ikin is rushing to get this deal done.

“Tesi is one of the players we are talking with at the moment, absolutely,” Ikin told News Corp.

“Tesi is a good young player.

“I can’t give a percentage on what Tesi will do, but we would like to keep him.”

As we wait and see how the rest of the roster shakes up, there's one thing we now know for sure - we're well and truly in the 'Ikin era'.