Broncos forward Sam Thaiday says if discarded prop Ben Hannant is fit he should play in Friday night’s NRL clash with the Gold Coast Titans.
Mystery may surround Ben Hannant’s availability for the Broncos but ex-Brisbane skipper Sam Thaiday reckons the selection formula should be simple – if he is fit, he should play.
Debate swirled around Hannant’s future at Brisbane after the off-contract ex-Test prop was dropped to the second-tier Queensland Cup last round despite being the Broncos’ form front-rower.
Broncos coach Anthony Griffin would not reveal the reasons behind his bold call to cut Hannant before Brisbane’s pack was monstered by North Queensland in their last round 27-14 loss in Townsville.
It sparked speculation that Hannant would not see out the season at Brisbane, with his agent reportedly already in contact with rival NRL clubs.
But Broncos forward Thaiday threw out the welcome mat to Hannant on Monday after all but confirming he would finally return from a month-long sideline stint nursing a calf complaint on Friday night against the Gold Coast.
“If he is fit and ready to go he should be in our team,” Thaiday said.
“We are very proud as a Broncos forward pack but we got beaten up on the weekend.”
Thaiday said he could feel for Hannant who had been in the mix for Queensland selection ahead of the May 28 State of Origin series opener before being sensationally cut by Griffin.
However, he believed Hannant would only come back hungrier than ever if given the chance.
“It’s hard to see guys miss out. Hopefully it has pepped him up for the weeks to come,” he said.
Thaiday reckoned he had learnt his lesson when he suffered an injury setback attempting to be cleared for the recent trans-Tasman Test in Sydney.
However, the hulking forward admitted he was desperate to chime into a Brisbane side keen to create a pre-Origin period roll on Friday night.
“We need to get back into winning form. We need the best team on the field – I will be doing everything I can to get it right,” he said.
“This (Origin time) is always a tough period for the Broncos.
“We need that ‘w’ on the board to help us out over that period.”
Thaiday backed maligned ex-Sydney Roosters recruit Martin Kennedy to find his feet at Brisbane after surprisingly keeping Hannant out of the side despite some underwhelming stats.
“He is trying to feel his way around and find his position in the team and when he does I am sure you will be pumping his tyres up and loving him to bits,” Thaiday smiled.