Kevin Walters speaks out after Broncos training photo sparks concerns

Kevin Walters and Selwyn Cobbo, pictured here at the Brisbane Broncos.
Kevin Walters has explained Selwyn Cobbo's absence from Brisbane Broncos training. Image: Getty/Peter Badel

Broncos coach Kevin Walters has revealed Selwyn Cobbo won't play in Thursday night's crunch clash with Parramatta due to fatigue.

The 20-year-old winger has scored 15 tries in 17 games this year, but the heavy workload of his first full season in first grade has taken its toll.

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Cobbo was spotted training with the reserves on Wednesday at Red Hill, with Walters later revealing that his young star had approached him earlier in the week to say he was fatigued and not right to play.

Walters said there was no disciplinary issue with Cobbo and that his absence was not related to the concussion he suffered in State of Origin III, which led to him missing several games.

"He is a young fella who has had a big season here at the Broncos and with Origin. He is just a bit tired," Walters told reporters.

"It just shows how honest Selwyn is with himself and the club. It is a big call, but those calls have got to be made."

Jordan Pereira will play on the right wing in place of Cobbo, who had a mixed night in the club's 60-12 loss to Melbourne last week.

"He is a young guy who has had [24] games in the NRL and it is tough going on the wing. They get us much punishment as anyone," Walters said.

"We will give him a spell and get him right for the Dragons.

"[Pereira] has done a good job for us when he’s come into the side at different times throughout the year. He’s really itching and hungry to get out there so it’s good news.

“We always have our players’ interests at heart and what’s best for the player.

“He just didn’t come up to where he needed to be this week so we’ll leave him out and give him a spell.”

Selwyn Cobbo, pictured here in action for the Brisbane Broncos.
Selwyn Cobbo in action for the Brisbane Broncos. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Kurt Capewell expected to play for Broncos

Meanwhile, back-rower Kurt Capewell got through the captain's run and has recovered from a leg niggle that had him in doubt earlier in the week.

Veteran prop Ryan James broke a finger against the Storm and has been replaced by Keenan Palasia, while rookie forward Zac Hosking replaces Rhys Kennedy on the bench to give Brisbane more punch on the edge.

The Broncos are in eighth position on 28 points having won just one of their last four games.

They could miss the finals if they lose both remaining fixtures to the Eels and St George Illawarra, and Canberra (26 points) win both of their remaining matches.

The Storm exposed Brisbane's defensive deficiencies last week but Walters said the side had "thrown last week's game in the bin ... where it belonged."

"I have got a lot of confidence we can bounce back," he said.

"The big thing is our defence. We know how Parramatta play. They come through the front door with their big middles. We've got to fix that (defensive) area up. We didn't last week and the Storm made us pay a price."

with AAP

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