After playing what he believed was the worst game of his life in his NRL return from rugby, Benji Marshall has warned not to expect too much from Ben Te'o's Brisbane comeback.
But ex-Bronco Marshall still believes former England rugby international Te'o's injection is just what a battling Brisbane outfit needs right now.
Broncos coach Anthony Seibold raised eyebrows when he thrust Te'o into his 17 for Thursday's Gosford clash with Manly barely a week after signing the 33-year-old for the rest of 2020.
Former Queensland backrower Te'o hasn't played NRL since savouring the 2014 grand final win with South Sydney, spending the last six years in rugby.
But Seibold has been forced to pick Te'o to bolster a back-row without captain Alex Glenn (leg), David Fifita (knee) and Tevita Pangai (ban) as he tries to shake up his side following their record 59-0 last round thrashing from Sydney Roosters.
Marshall, now with the Wests Tigers, admitted it would be a big ask for Te'o to step up after such a long time out of the game - and he would know.
Marshall said he had a shocker in his first NRL game back following an ill-fated Super Rugby stint at Auckland that lasted only a handful of months in 2014.
"My return from rugby union was probably the worst game I have ever played in my life - hopefully that doesn't happen to Benny," Marshall told Fox League's NRL 360.
"What he will find is the timing of the game is different, getting a feel for the contact again will be a bit different.
"I think you have to temper expectations."
Former Brisbane captain Justin Hodges also wasn't holding his breath for a Te'o blinder on Thursday.
"I love Ben Te'o as a player. I loved playing with him because I knew I could trust him on the field," Hodges told Fox League's NRL Tonight.
"But what will he will bring to the game I am not sure because he has been untested in this environment for a long time.
"He's a quality player, but you can't expect too much, too early."
However, Marshall believed Te'o may just provide a spark that the Broncos have sorely been lacking of late.
"He is obviously going to play in small stints from what I have heard," he said.
"He may not light the world on fire but what he is going to bring is a bit of confidence to his teammates which I think they need at the moment.
"When they are confident, gees they are a great team - they need to find that again."