Wellington superstar Kotoni Staggs is set to continue his rapid rise in the NRL after he was named in Brisbane Broncos coach Anthony Siebold's starting 13 for Thursday's clash against the Wests Tigers.
The 20-year-old again benefits from the absence of James Roberts, after the NSW Origin centre missed last round's disappointing 36-4 defeat against reigning champions the Sydney Roosters with an achilles injury.
Staggs started at centre opposite NSW Origin and Australian representative Latrell Mitchell in that loss, but held his own in only his 13th appearance in the NRL.
The former Wellington Cowboy had a standout performance with 104 run metres, three tackle breaks and 21 post-contact metres in a single line break.
The latter attracted Siebold's attention.
"The Roosters came up with some fantastic scramble defence," the coach told the media post match.
"Kotoni made a line break there at one stage ... but they just kept turning up for each other."
Staggs also made 27 tackles - the highest of any in the Broncos back line - with an efficiency (93.1 per cent) second only to Queensland Origin fullback Darius Boyd (100 per cent).
He has cemented his spot as a utility off the bench for Siebold, but has previously backed himself to take a centre starting position away from either Roberts or Greg Bird.
And with Roberts sidelined indefinitely due to the achilles tendon injury, there may be no better time for Staggs to stake his claim on the number three jersey.
The Broncos take on the Tigers on Thursday at Suncorp Stadium.
Meanwhile former St Johns Dubbo junior Isaah Yeo escaped sanctioning by the NRL judiciary and will start for the Penrith Panthers against the Gold Coast Titans at Cbus Super Stadium on Friday.
Yeo was put on report and copped a grade one charge in relation to a tackle in the 50th minute of last Friday's win over the Wests Tigers.
The 24-year-old second-rower was alleged to have made dangerous contact with the head or neck in a tackle on Luke Garner.
Friday will see the Panthers face Wellington product and former teammate Tyrone Peachey for the first time since the NSW Origin utility left the club at the end of the 2018 season.
Peachey has been named to start at centre for the Titans at Cbus Super Stadium.