74 mins ago
Broncos have talent just waiting
for the call
Brisbane Broncos youngster Berrick Barnes says he is prepared to wait his turn behind incumbent halfback Brett Seymour despite earning his first top-flight start for this weekend's trial against Melbourne.
Barnes has been named on the bench for Saturday night's showdown against a full-strength Storm team on the Gold Coast with Seymour occupying the No.7 jersey.
While it might be the first time Barnes has been given the chance to showcase his wares in Broncos colours, it's unlikely to be the last.
Long-serving coach Wayne Bennett and eagle-eyed scout Cyril Connell both have big wraps on the 18-year-old Ipswich Grammar product.
But Barnes described his selection as "lucky".
"There's obviously a lot of guys out so I'm pretty lucky to get a run," he said.
"A lot of us young guys are getting a chance so hopefully we can make a good fist of it.
"I just want to improve my game with the (Broncos feeder club Toowoomba) Clydesdales, that's all my goal is for this year.
"I'd obviously like to play a few games if there are injuries or anything like that but."
Barnes, who played for the Junior Kangaroos and an Australian Invitation side last year, added 4kg during the off-season in an effort to cope with the rigours of full-time football.
Standing 183cm and weighing 89kg, he is one of the largest halfbacks running around in the game.
"I think you've got to be that size just to cope with the way the game is today," he said.
Towering Broncos prop Petero Civoniceva has been handed the captaincy duties with fellow Kangaroo tourists Darren Lockyer and Shane Webcke rested from the trial.
Eight Brisbane players - including dynamic trio Shaun Berrigan (shoulder), Tonie Carroll (knee) and Brad Thorn (hamstring) - will miss the clash through injury.
The game will also mark the return of plucky hooker Barry Berrigan who suffered a career-threatening injury last season.
Berrigan has been training the house down during the off-season in order to be physically and mentally prepared for the upcoming season.
The former Bulldogs rake will pack down at hooker in a forward pack that, on paper, is one of the strongest defensive units going around.
John TeReo, Steven Michaels and Joe Clarke will join Barnes in making their Broncos debuts.
Teams: Brisbane: Karmichael Hunt, Stuart Kelly, Brent Tate, Justin Hodges, Tame Tupou, Casey McGuire, Brett Seymour, Corey Parker, Barry Berrigan, Petero Civoniceva, Neville Costigan, Sam Thaiday, David Stagg. Interchange: Darren Mapp, John TeReo, Berrick Barnes, Steven Michaels, Joe Clarke.
Melbourne: Billy Slater, Matt Geyer, Steven Bell, Matt King, Steve Turner, Scott Hill, Matt Orford, Robbie Kearns, Cameron Smith, Brett White, Ryan Hoffman, David Kidwell, Dallas Johnson. Interchange: Alex Chan, Nathan Friend, Dennis Scott, Tevita Metuisela, Glen Turner, Jamie Feeney, Jamie McDonald, Jeremy Smith, Greg Inglis, Cooper Cronk, Jake Webster.