Barba To Give ‘Short Back And Sides’

Source: Mark Evans/News Limited
Ben Barba is set to make his debut for the Broncos against his old club, the Bulldogs. Source: Mark Evans/News Limited

Poached from the Dogs at the end of last season, Ben Barba has been named at fullback for his new club, despite reports the Broncos were keen to use him at five-eighth. The Broncos hope the brilliant finisher can chime-in from the back and finish off opportunities are created by representative forwards Sam Thaiday, Corey Parker, Matt Gillett and Alex Glenn.

Brisbane’s regular number 1 of the last few seasons, Josh Hoffman, is doing a ‘Darren Lockyer’ – moving from fullback to five-eighth. In the off-season, rumours were rife the Kiwi international was set to leave Fulcher Road, following the signing of Barba. In fact, he’d been linked to Canterbury after photos of him and a couple of Doggies appeared on social media during the World Cup. Now he’s gone from almost walking out on the club to key play-maker alongside Ben Hunt. It will be interesting to see if Brisbane uses Hoffman in the frontline in defence and Barba at first receiver in attack. The jury is still out on Hoffman’s ability to help control a game and his tactical kicking.

Along with Barba, winger Daniel Vidot, prop Martin Kennedy and utility forward Todd Lowrie will all make their NRL debuts for Brisbane. New captain Corey Parker has been picked at prop. In the kennel, Sam Perrett has taken over the number 1 jersey vacated by Barba. Sam Kasiano, Greg Eastwood and Krisnan Inu will miss the game through injury.

The Doggies opened last season with a 24-12 loss to the Cowboys at Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford, while the Broncos were beaten by Manly 22-14 at Suncorp Stadium. The Bulldogs were successful 24-14 in the only meeting between these two sides in 2013 at ANZ Stadium.

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