Brisbane Broncos - 2012 Preview

When assessing the Broncos' 2012 chances it's impossible not to lead with the unavoidable question; just how will the club fare without Darren Lockyer?

Since his debut for Brisbane in 1995, Lockyer has been a mainstay in the Broncos' top seventeen. In a 17-year career he amassed an incredible 355 first grade games, represented Queensland on 38 occasions and wore the green and gold of Australia 63 times. A fair record indeed.

A player of Lockyer's stature will (quite probably forever) remain irreplaceable but Brisbane must still face the challenge of finding a long-term solution in the five-eighth position. It's anticipated that the task of filling the coveted Broncos' number six jersey will fall on the shoulders of one of two players - Ben Hunt or Corey Norman.

Coach Anthony Griffin is taking a characteristically sensible route, saying trial form will play a large part in which of the two rookies gets the nod. Looking at their respective careers so far, it will be closely fought battle.

Playing at halfback, Hunt helped steer the Under 20s side to the inaugural National Youth Competition grand final in 2008. However in the past few seasons he, to put it bluntly, hasn't played much halfback at all due to Griffin's desire to persist with Hunt as a makeshift interchange hooker. Whether dummy-half is his long term position, or whether the coach wanted to expose him to first grade and