Josh McGuire looks set to have the first crack at filling the Brisbane lock spot vacated by Corey Parker’s retirement in the Broncos’ World Club Series clash with Warrington on Saturday (0630 Sunday AEDT).
Shifting the Queensland front rower is one of the options coach Wayne Bennett is exploring as he looks to fill the huge void left by Parker, who drew the curtain on his illustrious 15-year career at the end of last season.
With Adam Blair staying in Brisbane following the birth of his second child and recent signing Korbin Sims still working towards full fitness, Bennett will give props Herman Ese’ese, Joe Ofahengaue and Tevita Pangai the chance to stake their claims for a place in the round one side to face Cronulla on March 2.
Veteran Broncos forward Sam Thaiday believes the all-action style of McGuire is suited to the lock position but said he’s one of several options available to the Broncos.
“That 13 is a unique role these days,” Thaiday told AAP.
“It’s a front-rower without being as big as a front-rower I think. We’ve got Josh McGuire, Jai Arrow and Jaydn Su’A who are all putting their hands up for that position.
“There is also Alex Glenn as well who can play that role and it allows you to put a big boy on the bench.
“We’ve got some great depth there and some great talent.”
The Broncos were put through a gruelling final work out at the Honourable Artillery Company’s plush playing fields in the heart of the London Financial District on Wednesday and head north to Manchester to prepare for Warrington early on Thursday.
The game will see David Mead make his debut on the wing for the Broncos following his switch from the Gold Coast and also offer Kiwi international Jordan Kahu, who will kick goals, his chance to cement the left-centre spot.
Kahu has played wing, centre and fullback in the past but Jack Reed’s retirement has left the No.3 jumper up for grabs.
Possible team: Darius Boyd, David Mead, Jordan Kahu, James Roberts, Corey Oates, Anthony Milford, Ben Hunt, Joe Ofahengaue, Andrew McCullough, Tevita Pangai, Matt Gillett, Adam Glenn, Josh McGuire.
Interchange: Sam Thaiday, Herman Ese’ese, Jai Arrow, Jaydn Su’A, George Fai, Jonus Pearson (two to be omitted.)