Rep stars on Walters' radar for Brisbane

·2-min read

A mission to rebuild Brisbane with State of Origin players is in swing with Kevin Walters confirming interest in Queensland stars Dane Gagai and Kurt Capewell.

The off-contract Maroons align with Walters' goal of bringing Origin players to the Broncos, who have just two representatives, Xavier Coates (Queensland) and Payne Haas (NSW), in squads for game one of the 2021 series.

It's a far cry from days when the Broncos would supply up at 12 players in a series during the early 2000s.

"That was one of our objectives when I first walked through the door was to get more Origin-based players here so it will be a work in progress," Walters said ahead of Thursday's NRL clash with St George Illawarra.

Ex-NSW Origin halfback Adam Reynolds has joined for 2022.

"We've got one in so we've just got to try and build on that over the next couple of years," Walters continued.

"(Gagai and Capewell) are both off contract and they would be two we would be interested in having a conversation with.

"We will let them play their Origin series. They've got a big match in front of them on Wednesday.

"They're two quality players so they would be welcome in most clubs I would have thought."

Recruitment is now a priority at Red Hill after retention strategies for young stars Sam Walker, Reece Walsh and David Fifita failed over the past year.

The club's latest ploy to get rising star Nicho Hynes from Melbourne also failed when he signed with Cronulla on Tuesday night.

Meanwhile, Walters denied Thursday's game against the Dragons will be the last one at the club for prop Matt Lodge.

Lodge is expected to make a mid-season switch to Newcastle but Walter denied the Knights have asked the Broncos to release him.

"He is playing well and all we look for is week to week with all of our players," Walters said.

"Certainly, Lodgey it's great to have him back and I expect him to be here for a few more weeks yet."