Revealing remark in Broncos shake-up
TEENAGE Brisbane halfback Tom Dearden will be thrown into the deep end when he debuts in one of the NRL's most-hyped games this season.
The Broncos' 18-year-old will step in against Wayne Bennett's South Sydney for Kodi Nikorima, who has been given time to mull a reported move to the Warriors.
Dearden has played just four Queensland Cup games but has impressed while training with the main squad this season and was endorsed last week by captain Darius Boyd as ready for the big stage.
He will get his chance to prove that when Bennett and Anthony Seibold face their former clubs for the first time since their controversial coaching swap last December.
"Tom has been working with this squad since January and played three first grade trials for the Broncos in the pre-season," Seibold said.
"It will be an exciting night for him, and we are certain he is ready to play a role for the club."
Nikorima and five-eighth Anthony Milford have copped their share of critics for the side's 2-5 start to the season, while the Rabbitohs (6-1) are cruising at the top of the table.
Seibold said Nikorima has been struggling with a calf injury but added missing the game against Souths will give the No. 7 time to think about his future amid reports he may leave the Broncos and join the Warriors this season.
"He also has some decisions to ponder around his future, decisions that are not easy to sift through, and that may affect his family," Seibold said.
"It will give Kodi the time and space to think through his decision."
The Warriors have lost Blake Green to a groin injury while Shaun Johnson's sudden off-season departure has left them short of experience in the halves. Nikorima, the New Zealand Test halfback, has had his moments but struggled to consistently click alongside Milford since the pair began their partnership last season.