NT News

Broncos out to halt raid on a rising star

- PETER BADEL AND TRAVIS MEYN

THE Broncos have kicked-off contract extension talks with Pat Carrigan as football boss Ben Ikin moves to thwart a poaching threat from NRL expansion rivals for Brisbane’s captaincy contender.

It can be revealed Brisbane’s recruitmen­t-and-retention committee have met with Carrigan’s management in the lead-up to the Broncos’ final regular-season clash against Newcastle on Saturday at Suncorp Stadium.

The Broncos have purchased or re-signed a staggering 21 players since the arrival of Ikin and CEO Dave Donaghy and Brisbane powerbroke­rs

are keen to make Carrigan retention target No.22.

Carrigan is contracted to the Broncos until the end of next year, but the hardworkin­g lock is on the radar of the NRL’s expansion teams as they look to plan rosters for the possible entry of Brisbane’s second team in 2023 or 2024.

The Broncos have no plans to lose Carrigan to a new second Brisbane rival and have begun preliminar­y talks to ensure their ironman successor to Corey Parker is a part of coach Kevin Walters’ Red Hill Revolution.

The 23-year-old has been sidelined since May due to a season-ending knee reconstruc­tion, but the Broncos have big plans for Carrigan, viewing him as a potential long-term captain.

Carrigan will be fully fit for the 2022 season after rupturing his ACL in Brisbane’s round 8 loss to the Cowboys in Townsville and Ikin said he was an important part of the club.

“He is highly intelligen­t and studying a physiother­apy degree while powering through his rehab, he is committed to the work and ahead of schedule,” he said.

“He is a very impressive young man. Leadership comes naturally to him. He is a good conversati­onalist. He loves to talk about things outside of the game.

“Everybody is desperate for him to get back and play footy because he brings so much.

“We see him here every day working his butt off to get his knee right and back into the team.

“All the players love him. They are a close group and looking forward to having him back in the team.”

Carrigan has filled in as captain five times in the past 18 months when first-choice skipper Alex Glenn has been out injured. He has also captained the Broncos under-20s and Queensland under-20s.

Carrigan has played 46 games for the Broncos since his debut in 2019 and has carved out a reputation as a midfield workhorse. He has amassed 1564 career tackles at an average of 34 per game, and 5458 running metres at a weekly mark of 118m.

Earlier this season, Carrigan dismissed suggestion­s the Broncos had a cultural problem following their woodenspoo­n finish last year and said he was keen to spearhead Brisbane’s fightback as a premiershi­p force.

A fortnight ago, retiring Broncos skipper Glenn urged Brisbane bosses to seriously consider Carrigan for the captaincy next season. “Patty Carrigan … the way he led our club when I was missing last year, he stepped up in a position that a kid his age shouldn’t have,” Glenn said.

 ?? Picture: Annette Dew ?? Pat Carrigan has played 46 games for the Broncos since his debut in 2019, carving out a reputation as a midfield workhorse.
Picture: Annette Dew Pat Carrigan has played 46 games for the Broncos since his debut in 2019, carving out a reputation as a midfield workhorse.

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