NSW State of Origin star James Roberts will miss the Broncos' game with the Warriors. Picture: Dave Hunt/AAP
NSW State of Origin star James Roberts will miss the Broncos' game with the Warriors. Picture: Dave Hunt/AAP

Broncos forced into late reshuffle after losing key duo

THE Broncos have copped a huge blow ahead of Sunday's clash with the Warriors, losing star duo James Roberts and Tevita Pangai Jr at training on Saturday.

NSW centre Roberts has been ruled out with an ongoing Achilles problem, and Pangai Jr (hamstring strain) failed to train.

Coach Wayne Bennett confirmed after the captain's run that the pair would not take to the field at Suncorp Stadium, with David Fifita and Patrick Mago coming into the 17 in their place.

However, Bennett claimed he was not concerned about the losses given the strength of the squad at Red Hill.

"We're in a good position," he said.

"The team's confident, that's the main thing. We have a good squad. We've had disruptions all year so that's not unusual.

"David's come in the last couple of weeks and done a good job for us. He's played a lot of time and minutes.

"It doesn't really faze us because we've been through a season of a lot of players missing and other guys putting their hand up and getting the job done."

In a twist, however, bench utility Kotoni Staggs will not be allowed to start in place of Roberts.

Tevita Pangai Jr has a hamstring issue. Picture: Chris Hyde/Getty
Tevita Pangai Jr has a hamstring issue. Picture: Chris Hyde/Getty

Staggs is not a top 30 player for the Broncos and therefore cannot start for the team except in special circumstances, such as State of Origin.

Jaydn Su'A will move to centre, with Fifita to start in the back row.

Mago will come onto the bench.



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