New Brisbane Broncos coach Kevin Walters has promised to overhaul the club’s wooden spoon squad - and the cleanout starts Friday.
New Brisbane Broncos coach Kevin Walters has promised to overhaul the club’s wooden spoon squad - and the cleanout starts Friday.

Kevvie’s cleanout: $2m Broncos heading for Red Hill exit

Kevin Walters has kicked off his Red Hill roster revolution with up to 10 Broncos players fighting for their NRL futures in Brisbane.

The Courier-Mail can reveal Walters will meet with Brisbane's recruitment and retention committee for the first time on Friday since being appointed head coach.

Walters has already promised to make significant changes to the squad he inherited from sacked coach Anthony Seibold that claimed this year's NRL wooden spoon.

The futures of high-profile players Matt Lodge, Jack Bird and Joe Ofahengaue have already been questioned as Walters looks to shake up Brisbane's underperforming squad.

Walters denied he had already told players they are free to leave, but conceded change was inevitable as he looks to rebuild the battered club.

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Joe Ofahengaue is set to leave the Brisbane Broncos. Pic Peter Wallis
Joe Ofahengaue is set to leave the Brisbane Broncos. Pic Peter Wallis

"I haven't tapped anyone on the shoulder yet, there are no definite calls at this stage," he said.

"However, I am meeting with the club's recruitment and retention people (on Friday) and we are going to get stuck into the roster then.

"I will be looking at changes, but it won't just be my decision. We have a committee who makes these decisions on the roster and I will have discussions with them."

The Broncos only managed three wins this year in a disastrous 20-round campaign which was the worst season in the club's 32-year history.

Ofahengaue was axed from the Queensland Origin squad and has been linked with a move to St George Illawarra while Lodge could also be squeezed out of the club.

Matt Lodge struggled with injuries in 2020. Pic Annette Dew
Matt Lodge struggled with injuries in 2020. Pic Annette Dew

"With Matt Lodge, there are lots of different scenarios," Walters said.

"He had an injury riddled season with his body and I need to find out what shape his body is in. I want to have a chat to Matt and see where his mind and body are at.

"We have to be mindful of the salary cap certainly."

Bird will be released if a rival club is willing to foot the majority of his $975,000 contract for 2021, while halfback Brodie Croft was disappointing in his first season at the Broncos.

Off-contract players Jordan Kahu, Sean O'Sullivan, Richie Kennar and Issac Luke are unlikely to be re-signed for 2021 while captain Alex Glenn only has one year to run on his deal.

Jack Bird has had a horror three years at the Broncos. (AAP Image/Darren England)
Jack Bird has had a horror three years at the Broncos. (AAP Image/Darren England)

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Prop Payne Haas was crowned the Broncos' best player for the second year running and said it was crucial Walters put his stamp on the squad.

"I think we need that," Haas said.

"For us to be where we want to go next year we need to have some tough conversations. I reckon Kevvie is going to do that.

"If people do move on it will be for the best."

Walters is likely to retain former Queensland Origin forward Ben Te'o for 2021 and he is hopeful of igniting inconsistent five-eighth Anthony Milford.

But former Broncos captain Gorden Tallis said no Brisbane player should feel safe at the club following the team's efforts this year.

"Every player should be on notice. I'm not sure whether they are, but they should be," he said.

"(Former coach) Wayne Bennett was moved on, Seibold was moved on, the next thing is the players.

"Kevvie has got time to turn it around. As soon as Seibold was gone, they had to look at who was available, but had to make the decision swiftly so they could start getting their claws into it."

Originally published as Kevvie's cleanout: $2m Broncos trio heading for Red Hill exit


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