Baby Broncos to cop NRL depth test against Warriors
Brisbane's depth test has arrived and coach Kevin Walters will be an eager observer in a throwback for the NRL club that's missing five State of Origin stars.
The Broncos' stocks have been hit for Saturday's clash with New Zealand Warriors in Napier with Pat Carrigan, Payne Haas, Tom Flegler, Selwyn Cobbo and Reece Walsh all earning Origin nods.
It's allowed Tristan Sailor to follow his father Wendell into a Broncos jersey, while Xavier Willison and Keenan Palasia have points to prove off the bench.
Brisbane's poor form in recent seasons has meant only a handful of players were rewarded with State of Origin selection.
But their sizzling early-season form - Brisbane are now 8-4 after back-to-back losses to Melbourne and Penrith - has ensured bulk call-ups to evoke memories of the Baby Broncos.
And Walters can't wait to see how they fare against a 6-5 Warriors side untroubled by Origin headaches.
"For those that have been waiting patiently, they get that opportunity to show why they should be in the side," Walters said.
"Tristan at the back, it's an opportunity he wouldn't normally get.
"That'll be a good indicator with our depth."
Sailor has been in fine form for Souths Logan in the Queensland Cup, impressing Walters with his football IQ as much as his athleticism.
"He brings a lot of energy at the back," the coach said.
"His two biggest assets are football knowledge, sticking to game plans.
"His running game is superb and I like the way he's organised our defensive line (during training this week).
"He's been integral with that, very smart."
Adam Reynolds' return from a concussion is also timely, the former NSW playmaker and Brisbane captain keen to steer the side through a State of Origin period that will ensure plenty of personnel change around him.
"He's a big in for us; we've missed him the last couple of weeks," Walters said.
"Always great to have your captain and halfback back, more importantly."