Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
4 days ago
Broncos point-scoring machine Michael DeVere will head to England next season, happy in the knowledge he has fulfilled even his wildest dreams and ambitions in Australia?s National Rugby League.
DeVere arrived at Red Hill from Campbelltown after writing a letter to coach Wayne Bennett asking him for a chance to train with the club in the hope of proving his worth.
Since his debut against Perth in 1997, DeVere has done that and more, breaking all the club?s pointscoring records on his way to becoming one of the most valued members of the team.
Bennett makes no secret of the fact DeVere is one of his favourite players, constantly praising the 28-year-old for his work ethic, commitment, loyalty and consistency.
But after being part of the NSW squad which won the 2003 State of Origin series and following that up with selection on the end-of-season Kangaroo Tour, DeVere is keen to complete the set of goals he set himself at the beginning of his career by heading to the English Super League.
"I've been talking to some clubs because I've always been keen to play for a year or two in England," De Vere said.
"There is nothing definite yet but if there is a good enough offer I'll look at it, because I'm keen to go while I'm still young enough and good enough.
"If I stayed in the NRL, then I wouldn't be leaving the Broncos. I'm not keen to play for another NRL club."
With troubled Roosters centre Justin Hodges on his way back to Brisbane next season, it appears a mere formality that DeVere will sign to play in the Old Dart, with Hull appearing to head the list of options.
DeVere?s departure will be a huge blow to the Broncos pointscoring abilities, as the man they call ?The Chief?, again leads the NRL?s pointscoring list.
Broncos boss Bruno Cullen said the club is resigned to losing DeVere, a man Bennett once described as ?the sort of player every coach dreams of having in their side?.
"When Justin came about we thought he would be an ideal replacement for Mick, because Mick's pretty set on taking an opportunity over there,? Mr Cullen said.
?If he gets the right deal then we expect him to move on.
"If he came up to us tomorrow and wanted to talk about next year then we would definitely be interested but he's not really in our frame right now."