He’s come so far. A wasted opportunity if he doesn't knuckle down.The mission to save Broncos prop Fai's career
Joel GouldNRL.com Reporter
Wed 13 Feb 2019, 01:01 PM Email
Call it 'Operation George Fai' if you like but the Souths-Logan Magpies and Brisbane Broncos are on a mission to save the career of the powerhouse prop in the next two months.
The Logan Brothers junior, a top 30 Broncos squad member who made his NRL debut in 2017, disappointed Brisbane coaching staff with the poor condition he turned up in at pre-season training.
After subsequently failing to reach the required conditioning targets the off-contract forward has been sent back to train with the Magpies to get himself in shape and has been given until April to hit those marks, a deadline where his future will be on the line.
Fai will take on the Broncos when he lines up for affiliate club Souths-Logan in a trial in Warwick on Saturday night, an opportunity to show that he is making progress.
The 22-year-old is in exactly the right environment to resurrect his career. He's at a club that loves him to death but also demands he looks in the mirror and changes his ways.
"George is one of our own," Souths-Logan CEO Jim McClelland told NRL.com.
"He's a Logan Brothers kid and we’ve had him in development squads since he was 15 years of age. He means something to us and if you talk to him, we mean something to him.
George Fai in action for the Souths Logan Magpies.©Scott Davis/NRL Photos
"We are there to kick his arse but we are also there to give him a shoulder to lean on as well. The rest of it is up to him.
"There are some good people over there at the Broncs who are still supporting him and he's got to use all of those resources – from wellbeing right through to dieticians and training.
"Sam Tagataese at the Broncos has had a chat to him and he is close to Patrick Mago. He knows everyone is there for him. He just needs to understand he is an employee and has to go to meet some targets."
The positive for Fai is that he has raw ability and has proven in the past that he can work hard off the field.
He lost eight kilos before making his NRL debut in 2017 and was going great guns in Brisbane pre-season training that year.
McClelland said he was reviewing Fai's Intrust Super Cup statistics from 2018with Souths-Logan coach Jon Buchanan where he was "the number one or two player for us each week for our last eight games".
"George runs great lines, is quick for a big man and is that Fuifui Moimoi style of player who is so hard to handle," McClelland said.
The lesson the Broncos and Magpies want Fai to learn is that success is a journey not a destination, and that he now has to recalibrate as he tackles the road ahead.
"The pressure is on us as well," McClelland said.
"We have to work with the Broncs on this one and hopefully we can get him back up to those targets in April.
"George has too much talent to give it away and just needs to realise he has to work that bit harder, and I'm pretty hopeful he can do that.
"Every night he has trained with us he's put in an effort and this weekend he will get to run out against the Broncs and hopefully be able to show them that 'hey guys I am worthy of an opportunity'. We really hope he can be resurrected."
I give George (Pie) a hard time on here, but sounds like the guy needs it. I know guys his size can struggle with their weight, but I do hope he gets in shape, if anything for his own sake. I know he had a kid last year and there may have been complications with the little one from what I could see, so hopefully for his home life it's smooth sailing now.He’s come so far. A wasted opportunity if he doesn't knuckle down.
Been so long since we've had a kicker who actually took pride in his goal kicking, last one was probably De Vere.Sharpshooter Isaako handling the heat
Jamayne Isaako is ticking all the boxes to ensure he improves on an impressive debut season.
Wednesday was a training day off for the Broncos players but he tied up the laces and went out in the 37-degree heat to make sure he kicks his weekly quota of 100 goals.
Have a good feeling about this fella. Might be our dark horse (pun intended).Brisbane rookie Andre Savelio fit again and ready to prove himself
FEBRUARY 12, 2019
Andre Savelio was once compared to Sonny-Bill Williams and now the Broncos’ English sensation is ready to show the NRL what he is made of.
This week marks a year since Savelio’s NRL dream was shattered by a knee injury in a Broncos pre-season trial in regional Queensland.
Ironically, Savelio will pull on a Broncos jersey for the first time since undergoing a knee reconstruction when Brisbane faces Souths-Logan in Warwick on Saturday night.
Savelio impressing for St Helens back in 2015. (Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
The Broncos brought Savelio to Brisbane in late 2017 with the hope he would develop into a destructive backrower.
Likened in physical stature to dual-code superstar Williams, Savelio was a gun on the rise with Warrington in the Super League before making the long trek to Australia.
But Savelio’s NRL dream hit a hurdle when his knee buckled just 14 minutes into his Broncos debut, relegating him to the sidelines for the entire 2018 season.
At 188cm and 108kg, the New Zealand-born Savelio is an imposing prospect for the Broncos and will start in the backrow against the Magpies alongside Redcliffe’s Jamil Hopoate.
Savelio, 23, has age on his side in his quest to make it in the NRL like English imports Sam Burgess and James Graham.
And the Broncos are expecting big things from him this season after he fought back from injury to get back into the NRL selection mix.
“Andre has done a lot of work to get his knee back to what it was at this time last year,” said Broncos hooker Jake Turpin.
“I hope Andre is full of confidence this weekend because he is a special player as well.
“All the boys are pretty happy for him to get out there and play footy again.”
Competition is fierce to play in Brisbane’s back row this year.
Test and Origin star Matt Gillett will return from a neck injury in Round 1 and new coach Anthony Seibold has to pick a partner for him out of Alex Glenn, Jaydn Su’A and David Fifita.
Tevita Pangai Jr is expected to start at lock, however he is another potential edge backrower for Seibold to choose from.
Seibold will hand over the clipboard to assistant coach Kurt Richards for the Warwick trial.
The Broncos will play Wynnum-Manly (February 23) and the Gold Coast Titans (March 2) in their other pre-season trials. Source: Courier Mail.
I moved it to another thread as I had a rethink after posting not suitable in this thread, enough of them to have this sort of discussion then one dedicated to the Broncos lineup for 2019.Oh God, we are about to get bombarded with more WB stories. I thought this crap was over. It will never be over as long as he draws breath.
https://www.couriermail.com.au/sport/nrl/teams/broncos/broncos-plan-to-make-james-roberts-into-a-deadlier-weapon/news-story/62b35299015f54958d3bd1271a681474Broncos’ plan to make James Roberts into a deadlier weapon
The Broncos’ fastest player launches his 2019 campaign when he turns out for the Indigenous All Stars against their New Zealand Maori rivals at AAMI Park in Melbourne.
The 25-year-old runs out for his Aboriginal people buoyed by the most rewarding season of his career last year, having clinched his maiden NSW Origin jumper, sweet reward for his try-scoring brilliance at the Broncos.
Now Brisbane have plans to take Roberts to another level of dominance, with the speed machine hoping a new attacking approach under Seibold can make him the NRL’s No.1 centre.
Roberts is enjoying a fresh approach under Seibold. Photo: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images
Speaking for the first time since the sacking of Wayne Bennett, Roberts says he never planned to follow the super coach to South Sydney as he sets his sights on premiership glory at the Broncos.
“I definitely think I can get better this year, a lot better. I haven’t reached my peak,” said Roberts, who will partner NSW Origin teammate Latrell Mitchell in the centres on Friday night.
“I will attack a bit more this year I think. ‘Seibs’ has changed our structures in both defence and attack and I believe it will suit the type of players we have in our team.
“I was always happy to stay at the Broncos. Wayne was good to me but I wanted to see what Seibs could bring as a coach and he has been excellent. He’s a great bloke and I like the way he is planning on using me this year.
The Indigenous All Stars will unleash Roberts against the Maoris. Photo: Kelly Defina/Getty Images
“I’ve been working on some smaller things in my game. I need to be more consistent and that’s something the coaching staff are working on to get me to that level.
“I’m really excited about our game plan this year, Seibs has definitely refreshed the group and his ideas have helped me, too.
“Wayne has a job to do with Souths now and I wish him well, but I’m contracted to the Broncos so my focus is on them.
“I need to perform week to week during the season.”
Roberts, who scored one of the tries of the 2018 NRL season with his 70-metre scorcher against the Roosters in round 11, admits he still battling a niggling Achilles injury that affected him last year.
Brisbane’s new training regimen under Seibold has seen Roberts bulk up to 96kg, two kilos heavier than his playing weight last season.
'Wayne has a special aura'
“I’ve put on a few kilos, I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been,” he said.
“It wasn’t quite planned that way. I’m still not 100 per cent fit, I’ve had a few niggles with my Achilles still, so I’m trying to train hard while managing the load I put on my Achilles.
“It’s taken ages for it to heal but I won’t need surgery on it. The medical staff say it will get better with time, so I will definitely be fit for round one.”
Roberts hopes to come charging out of the blocks on Friday night.
“I’m very proud to be wearing the Indigenous jumper again,” he said. “I’m really proud to represent my family and my people … I’m feeling fresh and ready to go.”