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Broncos rocked by brutal new NRL blow amid Reece Walsh and Payne Haas injuries

The Broncos have been hit with another devastating injury blow with Brendan Piakura picking up an ankle injury at training

The Broncos have suffered yet another injury blow with second-rower Brendan Piakura picking up an ankle injury at training on Tuesday. The second rower has been ruled out of Friday night's clash with the Cowboys and will undergo scans to see the extent of the injury.

Former Dragons forward Jaiyden Hunt moved into the back row at Tuesday's training session after Piakura left the field and is expected to replace him in the starting side. It is yet another blow for last year's grand finalists who are already without prop Payne Haas (knee) and fullback Reece Walsh (facial fracture) for at least the next few weeks.

Pictured left Broncos star Payne Haas and right Reece Walsh
The Broncos' injury crisis has gone from bad to worse with second-rower Brendan Piakura joining Payne Haas and Reece Walsh on the Broncos injury list. Image: Getty

But the news out of Tuesday's training wasn't all bad for the Broncos, with skipper Adam Reynolds getting through another session for the week and was also seen practising his goalkicking. Reynolds is expected to be named in the run-on side after missing Thursday's round-three loss to Penrith with a medial collateral ligament strain.

Brisbane winger Jesse Arthars said earlier this week the Broncos captain is "a quick healer" and believes he was sorely missed during the grand-final rematch last week. "Reyno is a quick healer and hopefully he will be out there steering the ship around. If he is not there we have Jock and he will do a great job as well," Arthars said. "Reyno is our skipper and if he is playing everyone is confident but whoever fills the positions we have faith in."

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 26: Brendan Piakura in action during a Brisbane Broncos NRL training session at Suncorp Stadium on September 26, 2023 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
Brendan Piakura is out of Friday night's clash with the Cowboys after picking up an ankle injury during training on Tuesday. (Bradley Kanaris via Getty Images)

Corey Oates in line for NRL return

The injury of Piakura could see winger Corey Oates return to the side after making a successful comeback from his own injury. On Tuesday, Oates trained with both the forwards and backs and is a chance to come into the side as a utility on the bench.

He played in the second row as a youngster and can cover multiple positions. His chances have also been boosted by Kevin Walters flirting with the idea of naming an outside back on the bench after being caught out by Walsh being ruled out of the game early on against the Panthers.

Piakura was pushed out into the centres after the injury to Brisbane's fullback in the opening minutes and despite holding his own, it was an area the premiers exploited repeatedly throughout the match. As a result, Oates could be in line for an NRL recall after a difficult off-season.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 11: Corey Oates is tackled during a Brisbane Broncos NRL training session at Suncorp Stadium on March 11, 2024 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
Corey Oates could return to the side after making a successful comeback from injury. (Bradley Kanaris via Getty Images)

The Broncos winger was said to be frustrated after missing selection in round one after falling down the Broncos pecking order behind the likes of Arthars, Selwyn Cobbo and young gun Deine Mariner. He was told he wouldn't be named in the 17 in the opening round, before refusing to play for Brisbane feeder club Burleigh Bears.

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However, with the injuries at the club, Oates is expected to work his way into the 17, to be used as a utility off the bench. The 29-year-old has scored 118 tries in 201 games but only managed nine appearances last year. But in the nine times he did play in 2023, Oates was a run-metre machine, averaging a career-best 184 metres per game.

with AAP