Brisbane Broncos Training Session
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 09: Coach Kevin Walters directs his players during a Brisbane Broncos NRL training session at Clive Berghofer Field on March 09, 2021 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Brisbane Broncos' coach Kevin Walters has claimed long-term injuries to centre Kotoni Staggs may have been the difference for the club in their quest to make the top eight this season.

While Staggs has only managed four games this season between recovering from an ACL he recovered last season, and a new knee injury he has now picked up, Walters is confident if Staggs had of played "double" the amount of games he did, the club would have qualified for finals.

“And let’s not forget that Kotoni Staggs who is probably one of our best players has played four games for us in the season," Walters said.

“If he plays double that I am pretty sure we are playing finals footy.”

NRL Rd 15 - Broncos v Dragons
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 21: Kotoni Staggs of the Broncos looks on during the round 15 NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Suncorp Stadium on August 21, 2020 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

It comes on the back of Brisbane's horrid eight-point loss to the Newcastle Knights without Staggs on Thursday evening, the men from the Hunter coming into the contest on just a four-day turnaround.

The Broncos sit 15th on the table after the match, with just 12 points to their name. They are six points out of the eight, and while four extra wins would have them inside the top eight, it's not exactly spot on to suggest they might have won all four with Staggs.

Brisbane did look a better side with him on the park, but they won just two out of four with him in the side, losing in Round 18 in what can only be described as a laughable performance against the Tigers 42-24, before going down the following week to the Penrith Panthers.

The baffling claim from Walters comes as he suggests he has the roster needed to make the finals come 2022.

“We have just got to get the right roster in place for us to do that,” Walters said.

“I think this year has been about trying to shape that roster to make a charge for it.

“Next year we have some classy, experienced players coming in."

The Broncos will have Adam Reynolds and Brenko Lee join them among others next year, while speculation is rife that both Jordan Pereira and Corey Jensen will also be additions to the club.

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