Wellington junior Kotoni Staggs returns to Brisbane Broncos starting lineup

READY: Kotoni Staggs is eager to take his chance back in the Broncos starting lineup on Friday night. Photo: AAP
READY: Kotoni Staggs is eager to take his chance back in the Broncos starting lineup on Friday night. Photo: AAP

It's been a tumultuous week for the Brisbane Broncos but Wellington junior Kotoni Staggs has come through it with plenty of responsibility on his shoulders.

Coach Anthony Seibold has swung the axe after the club's disappointing start to the season, with NSW Origin centre James Roberts and 2018 Rookie of the Year Jemayne Isaako both dumped.

Staggs, who has shown glimpses of his exciting talent in limited opportunities this season, has been promoted to start in the centres in place of Roberts.

Despite having filled in for Roberts at right centre previously, Staggs will play at left centre against the Manly Sea Eagles on Friday night while Jack Bird switches from one side of the field to the other.

"I mainly play right (centre) but I'm just grateful I'm back in the team and get a run out there with the boys," former Group 11 representative Staggs told the Broncos official website.

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As well as the chance to play in his favoured spot of centre, Staggs is also taking over goal-kicking duties from Isaako.

While he's a rookie when it comes to NRL goal-kicking Staggs has plenty of experience in that department.

He was always a sharp-shooter in his days with the Cowboys while he was also a standout with the boot for Redcliffe during the Dolphins' run to the 2018 Super Intrust Cup premiership.

"When 'Flay' (Jordan Kahu) left at the start of the year 'Seibs' pulled me aside and said I would be the second option to Jamayne," Staggs said.

"I practice every training session.

"I go out there and practice like I am going to be kicking in every game."

We'll see how this group of 17 players goes.

Brisbane coach Anthony Seibold

Seibold says his decision to axe Roberts was down to form and is not an indication of any falling out between the pair.

Rumours have been swirling about Roberts' situation for a number of weeks now, with many reports linking him with a move to South Sydney Rabbitohs and former Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett.

But the door remains open for Roberts, depending on how Staggs, Bird and the rest of the revamped Brisbane side play this weekend.

"He hasn't come to me and spoken about wanting to move or anything like that but at the end of the day we're an organisation that needs to choose our team on merit each week," Seibold said.

"This week James isn't in it, next week he might be. We'll see how this group of 17 players goes."

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