NRL Rd 5 - Sea Eagles v Broncos
GOSFORD, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 11: Broncos players leave the field after warm up before the round five NRL match between the Manly Sea Eagles and the Brisbane Broncos at Central Coast Stadium on June 11, 2020 in Gosford, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

NRL great Matty Johns has called for the Brisbane Broncos to make a dramatic shake-up to their spine in order to save their season after five-straight losses.

Johns was critical of Anthony Seibold’s decision to play rookie halfback Tom Dearden at hooker off the bench in the Broncos’ horror 30-12 loss to the Titans in Round 7.

“This is what I don’t get from the other night and why I think they are losing their way is that they were talking about Tom Dearden being the future of the club,” Johns said on Sunday Night with Matty Johns.

“Now I was saying where has Tommy Dearden been? They finally put him on the bench. I thought he would start because they need someone to steer them around the park.

“They put him on the bench and with 20 minutes to go they finally put him on and play him at hooker.”

Bryan Fletcher floated the idea of playing Brodie Croft at hooker, which Johns believed would be of benefit to the Broncos.

“I think there is more scope in Croft playing No.9 and Dearden playing halfback,” Johns said.

“Every half has their strengths and when they took Brodie up there and said he is going to lead them round the park, well he is not that type of halfback.

“He is a kid who is a good runner of the football and when he spots something he can take off.

“The first thing is you have to put Dearden into No.7 and see if he can make a difference.”

The Broncos take on fellow strugglers the New Zealand Warriors in Round 8.


  1. A change is needed, and certainly won’t make results worse. But why not shift Croft to 6, bring in Dearden at 7, TPJ to the middle in 13, bring Isaako onto the wing for Oates, and play simple.
    Dearden can direct play, Croft can run the ball, Milford can have a few weeks off and get his head back into the game. I would try a team like this

    Boyd (until Staggs is fit)


    Joe O, Oates, Hopoate and lodge.

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