Broncos have signed Croft: Lockyer

Laine Clark
Brodie Croft has quit Melbourne to join Brisbane in the NRL

The playmaker Anthony Seibold has been craving since taking the Brisbane reins has been secured after Darren Lockyer confirmed the Broncos had signed Brodie Croft on a three-year NRL deal.

The news ends months of speculation and an anxious wait for Seibold who has nabbed the halfback he believes can finally give his rebuilding outfit on-field direction and attacking spark in 2020.

Seibold tried a number of halves combinations in his first year as Broncos mentor in 2019, finally resorting to fullback Darius Boyd at five-eighth and hooker Jake Turpin at No.7 - ultimately with disastrous results.

Seibold quickly identified out of favour Melbourne No.7 Croft as the man to resurrect Brisbane's floundering attack after they were brutally exposed in their humiliating NRL finals exit - a record 58-0 loss to Parramatta.

Almost two months after Seibold was spotted speaking with Croft in a Sydney cafe, Brisbane have got their man.

Club director Lockyer said Croft was "signed, sealed and delivered" with the Broncos set to make an official announcement in the coming days.

"Brodie is coming for three years and I think he's going to be a great addition to the squad," Lockyer told Nine Network.

Croft was snubbed by Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy for their 2019 finals run after playing 22 games this season - including 18 wins.

But he is highly rated by Seibold, who is tipped to move incumbent fullback Anthony Milford back to five-eighth after Croft's arrival.

It is believed Seibold hopes Croft's organisational skills and kicking will allow Milford the freedom to unleash his rarely seen running game at pivot, giving Brisbane a much needed extra attacking dimension.

"I think whether five-eighth or fullback with Milf, having someone like Brodie who can organise, which just comes natural to him, it allows someone like Milf to free him up and just go and play footy, which is what he does best," Lockyer said.

"Again, I think he's a great addition to the squad because he's the sort of player we need."

Young gun Tom Dearden will be Croft's halfback understudy with Broncos flyer Jamayne Isaako set to play fullback.

Dearden, 18, impressed in his five NRL games in his debut year before succumbing to an ankle injury but is seen as a long-term prospect by Brisbane.

"We've got big things (planned) with Tom Dearden," Lockyer said.

"He's only 18, he's still learning. He'll be part of the mix there as well and he's another option."

Melbourne are yet to officially announce they have released Croft from the final two years of his Storm contract.

But his move to Red Hill appeared imminent after ex-Gold Coast playmaker Ryley Jacks was spotted at Melbourne pre-season training as Croft's potential replacement.

Jacks, who made his NRL debut with Melbourne in 2017 before shifting to the Titans this year, has reportedly been handed a train-and-trial Storm deal.