Expect the unexpected from Brisbane boom rookie Carlin Anderson at this weekend’s NRL Auckland Nines as one of Queensland’s brightest young talents stakes his claim for a backline vacancy.
The 20-year-old winger and fullback is considered one of the most exciting young talents coming through the state’s ranks after amassing an impressive highlights reel in last year’s Queensland Cup.
The Broncos beat off three other clubs for the services of the Gympie product after he helped the Ipswich Jets to victory in last year’s NRL State Championship.
His talent was showcased in a try against the Northern Pride in which he kicked the ball four times through the defensive line before diving on it over the line.
With Justin Hodges’s retirement, Dale Copley moving to the Sydney Roosters, Jack Reed due to miss the first several weeks as he recovers from shoulder surgery and Lachlan Maranta recently undergoing wrist surgery, there are spots up for grab in the Broncos backline.
While considered far too good for state level competition, there are questions about Anderson’s defence and ball security.
He will get a chance to showcase his skills at this weekend’s Nines in Auckland and captain Sam Thaiday encouraged fans to strap themselves in for the ride.
“He scored a lot of freakish tries last year,” Thaiday said.
“He’s very talented and very skilled player and hopefully having a pre-season with us is only going to enhance those skills.”
Anderson is an alumni of the Ipswich side coached by the Walker brothers Shane and Ben who have caught the attention of the rugby league world with their unorthodox style.
Ben on Friday encouraged the NRL and organisers to include the Jets in next year’s Nines competition and accused most sides of playing a “boring” brand of football during the shortened format competition.
Former Jets Matt Parcell (Manly), Billy McConnachie, Rod Griffin (Wests Tigers), Liam Capewell and Josh Cleeland (Cronulla) have all earned NRL contracts after starring for the Jets last year.