Kotoni Staggs is looking to emulate his idol Steve 'the Pearl' Renouf this season, and his idol is watching the 24-year-old right back.

The Tongan international made his New South Wales debut last season, however was dropped after a singular game in sky blue, but it wasn't all doom and gloom for Staggs.

The centre has battled injury for a large portion of his short career, and while his form was wavy throughout the season, the Central West product played 23 games last year for the Broncos, more than his 2020 and 2021 tally combined.

Despite not creating headlines as he did in previous years, Staggs was a massive part in the successful year of Selwyn Cobbo after the winger scored 15 tries in his final 12 games of the season.

While it's easy to look up to Brisbane's big-bodied backs of the past in Wendell Sailor and Lote Tuqiri, Staggs has always admired Renouf and the way he played, and the now-52-year-old 'Pearl' believes the centre has a big year ahead.

Kotoni Staggs, 100 per cent fit, can be unstoppable. The world is his oyster,” Renouf told the AAP.

“He showed from an early age that he can find the tryline quite easily.

“We are different players. He loves strength and contact. I shied away from contact. I tried to run to the holes… but it is exciting to watch him play.”

Renouf believes the two are different in playing style, Staggs known for his strength while Pearl's trademark was his speed, but the 24-year-old wants to mirror his game.

“I've watched a few clips of him back in the day and the way he played is kind of the way I want to play as well,” Staggs said.

“The tries he pulled off were unbelievable. I remember the headgear he always used to wear. He is one of the greats of the club and the game as well.

“He played exactly the same position as me, so I look up to him.”

While Renouf believes Brisbane now has a team to make the top four, Staggs is just licking his lips ahead of the opening round, and his battle with Izack Tago.

“My shoulder has pulled up good from both trials. I can't wait to get out there against Penrith in round one and hopefully knock them off too."