Broncos start life without Lockyer

James Gordon

Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin enters the season with an unenviable task – getting on without Darren Lockyer.

The Broncos legend hung up his boots at the end of last season, his final action in a rugby league shirt coming in the Four Nations final for Australia against England at Elland Road.

And Griffin must now look at who will follow in Lockyer’s foot steps, starting with the Broncos’ season-opener against Parramatta on March 2nd.

Griffin, who replaced the sacked Ivan Henjak midway through last season, said: “It was a good first year, but the way it finished was disappointing.

“Last year was last year. It’s over now. Everyone is saying we did well, and how wonderful the Lockyer roadshow was, with his farewells to the game. But it’s all finished, and it’s now we have to worry about.

“People will want to know how we are going to go without Locky until they see how we deal with it. That’s not something I’m that concerned about.”

Corey Norman is favourite to get first crack at the five-eighth spot vacated by Lockyer, but Ben Hunt and Gold Coast Titans five-eighth Luke Capwell will also get a shot there in the Broncos’ trial games.

Griffin added: “From my point of view, the trials will determine all of them (positions).

“With no disrespect to anyone in the group, from round 1 against Parramatta we have to have our best team on the field. There are some guys, who through injury, might not trial as much as others.

“But the trials are something we need to use to get players into form and get our best team on the park for round 1.”

The Broncos face North Queensland Cowboys (February 4th), Gold Coast Titans (February 11th) and Melbourne Storm (February 18th) in their trial games next month.