Broncos take Gamble with Dearden on outer

·3-min read

Another looming halves shake-up at Brisbane proves "no one is safe" at Red Hill according to forward Payne Haas, who has backed coach Kevin Walters' stance and revealed his frustrations as the NRL club battles to retain core players.

Halfback Tom Dearden was demoted to the reserves at training on Tuesday - a day after the 19-year-old announced his 2022 move to North Queensland.

Incumbent No.6 Brodie Croft also trained with Brisbane's reserves ahead of Friday's clash with Gold Coast.

Dropped to the Queensland Cup a fortnight ago, Anthony Milford looks set for an NRL return against the Titans.

He trained alongside big-bodied playmaker Tyson Gamble, who will have the challenge of defending in-form Gold Coast backrower David Fifita on the left edge in his top-grade return.

It will be the 10th change in the halves in the last 17 games for the club, who have won just twice - both time against Canterbury - from their last 25 games.

Milford was expected to spend at least a month in the second-tier competition, with the long-term future of the off-contract star murky in Brisbane.

But a fine showing for Souths Logan against Mackay on the weekend, plus Dearden's impending exit, has opened the door for more changes to a side that slumped to 1-6 after last week's 40-point hiding by Parramatta.

David Mead also looks to be a casualty of the Eels' defeat, with Jesse Arthars training at centre in his place on Tuesday.

Croft has been unable to nail down a permanent role in the halves since arriving from the Storm and Haas said the musical chairs were warranted.

"Like Kev said at the start of the year; no-one's safe here," he said.

"You've got to play good to keep your spot or get shown the door and kicked out of the team.

"Tyson's a good talker and we need that in our halves, need some direction and you could hear him out there today."

Dearden's move to Townsville comes despite the club previously declaring him central to their future plans and follow's Fifita's big-money departure.

"One big thing why we can't keep people is that we're not winning games," Haas said when asked why he thought good mate Fifita left.

"Nobody wants to be a part of losing games, so that's up to us (to change that), win games and I'm sure more players will end up staying.

"It's pretty disappointing (to lose Dearden too) ... to lose someone like him who's come up through the system is hard but he's got to do what's best for him."

He said first-year coach Walters deserved more from his troops after another inept showing against the Eels.

"I believe Kev's a good coach and he's right for this club," he said.

"It's not always the coach's fault ... we haven't performed as a team and have let him down.

"If we win games people want to stay and it's a happy vibe and when the Broncos start winning it's the best place to be."