With only three players set to line up for Queensland, it’s business as usual for the Brisbane Broncos heading into rugby league’s Origin period.
There can be no NRL excuses for the Brisbane Broncos during this year’s State of Origin period.
With just three players set to be selected for Origin duties, down from as many as a dozen in their glory days, Queensland’s glamour club will treat the next eight weeks as “business as usual”.
The Broncos (5-5) are sitting 11th – among a group of four clubs on 10 points – heading into what traditionally has been their toughest time of the season.
They will lose co-captains Justin Hodges and Corey Parker and in-form lock Matt Gillett to Maroons selection – one of their lowest representations since the club’s foundation in 1988.
“It’s just a few players,” said Brisbane’s former Queensland back-rower David Stagg.
“The past few years when I’ve been in Brisbane you can quite often lose half a team.
“We’ll still lose a fair bit of experience but there’s plenty to come in as well.”
Stagg, who was one of seven Broncos in Queensland’s side when he made his Origin debut in 2006, is one of those seasoned campaigners to line up against the Wests Tigers at Campbelltown on Saturday night.
So too prop Ben Hannant who was set to make his return in Friday night’s 22-8 win over the Titans before being rested with a slight groin strain as a precaution.
Although Sam Thaiday (calf) also remains on the sidelines, Stagg was confident the Broncos had the roster to ensure the Origin period wouldn’t be the massive obstacle it has been in the past.
“This time of the year you look to the depth and the strength of the club and with the guys we have around we still have a lot of experience, which is good to see,” the utility said.
“I’m sure everyone across the board is confident in the bloke next to them to get the job done.
“It will be business as per usual this week.”