Revealed: Horn’s secret message to Broncos
The Broncos have recruited heroic Brisbane boxer Jeff Horn as their secret weapon to inspire a Manny Pacquiao-style boilover against the Melbourne Storm.
The Courier-Mail can reveal Horn was approached to provide words of inspiration for the battered Broncos ahead of tonight's Suncorp Stadium showdown.
This month marked three years since Horn shocked the world with a stunning underdog victory against boxing superstar Pacquiao at Suncorp Stadium.
And the Broncos are hoping the courageous "Hornet" can spur them on after being written off by bookmakers, who have Brisbane at their longest odds ($9.50) ever to win.
Horn was asked to motivate the Broncos by his personal sponsor Phil Murphy, the club's largest private shareholder.
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The NRL's biosecurity restrictions prevented Horn from addressing the Broncos in person so the former world champion recorded a video message for the team.
"I am trying to inspire the Broncos guys and hopefully they can lift their game because it's a tough time for the club," Horn said.
"Clearly they are not playing their best at the moment and I'm trying to help in any way I can.
"Phil Murphy, my major sponsor, has an investment in the Broncos and he asked me if I could help out with a video message for the guys.
"Paul White the Broncos CEO was aware of it and I sent the video after being smashed at my own training session.
"I told the guys to think about what they are fighting for. I am fighting for my family and friends and the Broncos guys have to dig in and fight for their loved ones, their fans and their reputations.
"No one gave me a chance of beating Manny at Suncorp Stadium, but I defied the odds and pushed through the tough times. I hope the Broncos can do something similar against the Storm.
"As a footy fan myself, it's been pretty sad to see the Broncos in the position they are, so hopefully I can help them in some way."
The Broncos are mired in one of the worst form slumps in the club's proud 32-year history.
Since the NRL season rebooted in May, they have lost seven of eight matches, including a club record 59-0 loss to the Roosters and last weekend's 48-0 drubbing by Wests Tigers.
The spotlight has been thrust firmly on Red Hill and the future of coach Anthony Seibold, who has been fruitlessly searching for a way to spark his team back into form.
The 14th-placed Broncos have been given next to no hope of beating the third-placed Storm and Murphy said he was desperately trying to spark the team.
"I was at my wit's end with what ideas to come up with to save some face for the Broncos so I thought Jeff could help them," said Murphy, who owns a 22 per cent stake in the club.
"I spoke to the Broncos and Jeff and he was keen to help them out. He would have addressed the team personally but because of COVID he wasn't allowed into their bubble, so he recorded a personal video message.
"I hope the Broncos can get something out of it. Jeff has been on the canvas and got back up and surely that can be some inspiration for these Broncos. I really hope it can give them some lift.
"It's a huge worry tomorrow night for all Broncos people. If they weren't worried they wouldn't be on this planet.
"The Storm will be confident of an easy win but all us Broncos fans want to see is that they play their guts heart with the heart and spirit of Jeff Horn.
"If they can find a bit of Horn's heart and character, they will put in a competitive performance."
Horn has earned a reputation for rising when his back is against the wall.
He was on the ropes against Pacquiao before emerging victorious and survived a ninth-round beating from Michael Zerafa last November to save his career.
If the Broncos learn anything from Horn's message their disgruntled fans will at least see a wholehearted performance against the Storm.
Originally published as Revealed: Horn's secret message to Broncos