It looks like Broncos forward Tevita Pangai Jr will be staying at Brisbane after coach Wayne Bennett revealed he had agreed to a two-year verbal extension to remain with the club.
It is a massive win for the Broncos given the rising star was being courted by rival clubs, including the Sydney Roosters, and could have commanded a bigger pay packet on the open market.
Retaining Pangai Jr caps off an exciting period for Brisbane, who recently re-signed back-rower Matt Gillett, young gun Jaydn Su’A and teenage prop Payne Haas.
And while Pangai Jr’s re-signing has not yet been made official due to the fact that the 22-year old is currently cutting ties with his agent, Bennett told The Sunday Mail that he was going nowhere.
“Tevita won’t be leaving,” Bennett told The Daily Telegraph.
“He has a management issue to sort through, so we won’t have his deal done for a few months, but Tevita has told us he wants to stay.
“We are very confident of keeping him.
“We’re looking at a two-year deal. I don’t think it’s in Tevita’s best interests to do a four or five-year deal.
“His best years are in front of him, so he will become more valuable in the coming years.”
Former Broncos captain Gorden Tallis said retaining Pangai Jr will come at cost, which could fall into the seven-figure range.
“Tevita is very close to being a $1 million player, he’s a freak,” Tallis told The Daily Telegraph.
“Taumalolo I thought was expensive when the Cowboys signed him and now it’s a good deal. One million sounds like a lot of money but the salary cap keeps going up.
“There would be every club going after him (Pangai Jr).
“He is the type of guy you want in your organisation. If his manager is doing the right thing, he would be out there asking every club to get the best price for him.”
Ex-skipper and current member of the club’s recruitment and retention committee Darren Lockyer said keeping Pangai Jr was crucial for the team’s future prospects.
“It’s crucial that we keep him,” he told The Daily Telegraph.
“He is our version of Jason Taumalolo. We know any club in the game would love to have him, but the Broncos are a good environment for him.”