Broncos enforcer Pat Carrigan has been sensationally snubbed as the Broncos’ captain after Adam Reynolds was named the club’s sole skipper.
Reynolds is one the NRL’s most experienced playmakers and took over the captaincy after landing at Red Hill ahead of the 2022 season.
Meanwhile, Carrigan, 24, had a breakout season for the Broncos which earned him representative honours with both the Maroons and Kangaroos.
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Carrigan is the only Brisbane player in Mal Meninga’s squad and the gun prop has been tipped as the club’s future captain.
However coach Kevin Walters has resisted the urge to hand Carrigan a senior leadership role and will instead keep a traditional leadership model.
“Adam will be the captain – I am a fan of the single captain,” Walters said to the Courier Mail.
“It was all new for him last year moving up to the Broncos with his family. He didn’t start training with the group on a weekly basis until January.
“We get him back early this time which is a good treat for us heading into Christmas.
“We’ve got some good young halves here for him to help develop.”
Carrigan only managed to feature in eight games in 2021 after suffering a serious knee injury.
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Now the gun forward is on the verge of winning a World Cup as the Kangaroos line-up against Samoa on Sunday morning (AEDT) to go with a Maroons title.
Carrigan was also awarded the Wally Lewis Medal as the best player of the 2022 State of Origin series.
Meanwhile, Reynolds has a solid start to his Red Hill career after making the move from the Rabbitohs.
The 32-year-old has two years remaining on his current contract and will be desperate to lead the Broncos back into the finals after the club’s stunning slide out of the top eight late last year.
Walters side lost five of their last six matches to finish ninth after sitting inside the top four after Round 19.
WALSH’S FULLBACK COMPETITION
Broncos marquee recruit Reece Walsh has revealed the “healthy” competition for the No.1 jersey as Kevin Walters’ side prepare for their 2023 campaign.
The 20-year-old former Warrior signed a three-year deal with Brisbane in July after securing an early release from his New Zealand contract.
Walsh joined the Warriors in 2021 seeking first grade opportunities after coming through the Broncos junior ranks.
Walsh will fight for fullback role | 00:58
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The gun fullback returns to Red Hill with 38 games of NRL experience and a call-up to the Maroons squad — but nothing is certain and he will once again be fighting it out for Brisbane’s fullback spot.
“I think it is really good to feel competition, there is a couple of boys who want that jersey,” Walsh said.
“I think it’s healthy and something that I am looking forward to and obviously I need to keep pushing myself and nothing’s guaranteed.”
The Broncos have a number of other selection battles ahead of their opening game of the 2023 season, taking on the reigning premiers, the Panthers.
Billy Walters, Cory Paix and young gun Blake Mozer are set to fight it out for the No.9 and No.14 jersey, while Jock Madden is doing his best to partner Adam Reynolds in the halves over Ezra Mam.
“It is going to be a good competition over the next year and it will be interesting to see how much sleep Kevvie (Walters) gets the next couple of week,” Walsh said.
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“I think he might be a bit stressed with all the boys fighting for positions.”
Broncos’ head of recruitment Simon Scanlan, who first signed Walsh as a 14-year-old and lured him back to the club, previously said no one’s positions were set in stone.
“The thing we’ve made clear is Reece isn’t guaranteed anything,” Scanlan said.
“We have Tesi Niu and Herbie Farnworth wanting to play fullback as well so it will be a shootout for that No.1 jumper in the pre-season.
“Reece has to come in and fight for the jumper.
“No-one at the club has been told they are locked in as the No.1 fullback. Reece is one of the guys in the mix.
“Reece has to earn the respect of the group, he has to earn the right to put the fullback jersey on and work hard to fit within the team and play his role.”