‘Forgotten man’ joins Broncos exit queue
Brisbane's disastrous end to their 2019 season has deteriorated even further with fresh revelations of senior players set to be turfed out.
On a huge day for the club as players attended Broncos headquarters for their end-of-season reviews with coach Anthony Seibold, it has also now emerged:
- The door is reportedly open for the Broncos to join the race for former Cronulla star Valentine Holmes' signature, despite the Cowboys reported to have a rich offer on the table to the New York Jets running back
- Captain Darius Boyd is set to be told he is not in the team's plans for round one of the 2020 season;
- The Broncos will consider letting star utility Jack Bird leave a year early, if he receives offers from rival clubs; and
- Star No. 9 Andrew McCullough admitted his future at the club is uncertain.
Broncos players arrived at the club's Red Hill training HQ on Wednesday morning ready to face the music from Seibold after it emerged on Tuesday six players were spotted inside a Sydney pub's gaming area the night before their loss to Parramatta.
It followed speculation that Seibold has "lost" some of the players in his team and reports Boyd is set to be replaced as captain.
Boyd and the Broncos have denied the reports he is set to handover the leadership role, but his position of seniority appears untenable, given fresh revelations the former Queensland star is not even in the club's plans for round one of the 2020 season.
Channel 7's Chris Garry reports the Broncos will tell Boyd he is not in the team's plans for next season - forcing the club to find a new skipper.
Garry told Macquarie Sports Radio the club could have the difficult conversation with Boyd as early as Wednesday's end-of-season review meetings.
He said the club has made it clear Boyd will not reach the 15-games threshold in 2020 that he needs to unlock the clause in his contract that activates an additional year in his deal, taking him through to the end of the 2021 season.
"The bigger issue for Brisbane is what on Earth are they going to do next year," Garry said.
"They don't want Darius Boyd there. They don't want Andrew McCullough there. But how are they going to clear that space in their cap? Who's going to buy them? That's the problem they face.
"He's not going to play 15 games next year. That's the conversation they'll have and then they'll figure out a way for him to exit gracefully.
"He's won a premiership at the club, he's a great figure at the club, he won't get turfed out, but he'll also be told that he's not in the team for round one."
Bird is also on the outer as the club tries to find a way to free up salary cap space to retain its young squad of stars - and potentially enter the market for a playmaker capable of guiding the team around the park.
The Daily Telegraph's Dean Ritchie reported on Wednesday the Broncos won't stand in Bird's way if he accepts an offer from a club in Sydney.
Bird is also contracted through to the end of 2020.
"He's got another season up there, he's become the forgotten man of rugby league up there," Ritchie told Sky Sports Radio.
"He played State of Origin only a few years ago. At the moment Brisbane are saying they want to keep him. From November 1, he can begin to field offers officially.
"They're saying they want to keep him, but there is a bit of scuttlebutt around the Bronco world that if another offer does come along, he could consider it.
"So if there's a bit of interest from one of the Sydney clubs, which I'm told there may well be… they'd consider letting him go.
"If he can get another offer and if he can get the right money, than I think you'll find the Broncos would let him out of that final year."