Broncos set to unleash 205cm wrecking ball


He’s taller than Nelson Asofa-Solomona and still only a teenager – and now young front-rower Ben Te Kura is ready to make the jump to NRL for the Broncos this year.

The 19-year-old has emerged as a potential long-term solution to some of Brisbane’s departed forwards, with the club losing Tom Flegler, Kurt Capewell and Keenan Palasia following their grand final loss to Penrith last year.

Te Kura stands at 205cm, placing him ahead of Asofa-Solomona and Dom Young as the league’s tallest player and putting him right up there in the all-time list.

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Ahead of the club’s first pre-season trial against Manly, head coach Kevin Walters backed the 122kg wrecking ball to make an impact for Brisbane after impressing throughout the pre-season.

“He’s taller than Nelson,” he told 4BC’s Wide World Of Sports Radio.

“They went back-to-back last year when New Zealand A and New Zealand got together, so that’s quite a feat in itself.

“If I look back 12 months, Ben has really matured through hard work more than anything. He’s a big lump of a lad – 125 or 130 kilos – and he’s just one of those young boys that loves absorbing all the information.

“In the middle, he’s got good movement with his feet for such a big man.

“We expect him to come through slowly this year and he’ll be one to look for on Saturday afternoon – you certainly won’t miss him.”

Te Kura is one of many young stars hoping to make the permanent jump to first grade this season, with explosive centre Deine Mariner and crafty hooker Blake Mozer also in the mix to feature for the Broncos.

And despite losing some experienced personnel in Flegler, Palasia, Capewell and Herbie Farnworth, there’s still plenty of reason to believe a premiership could be heading to Red Hill for the first time since 2006.

“As everyone knows in rugby league, you need great depth in your squad to battle through the 27 rounds and into the finals,” Walters said.

“We just can’t keep everyone and we have got our spine together … we expect all those players to improve. Tie in around that, Payne Haas and Pat Carrigan are mainstays; Kotoni Staggs and Selwyn Cobbo … there’s a lot of quality there. 

“I feel that we have that depth again and it’s ready to explode again for us in 2024.”

Brisbane will kick off their NRL campaign against the Roosters on March 3. 



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