Wellington junior Kotoni Staggs in State of Origin contention

CHANCE: Kotoni Staggs starred for the Brisbane Broncos on Friday night. Photo: NICK GUTHRIE
CHANCE: Kotoni Staggs starred for the Brisbane Broncos on Friday night. Photo: NICK GUTHRIE

"I imagine growing up in Wellington he would have been a handful."

Anthony Seibold didn't know how right he was when discussing Kotoni Staggs and his three-try heroics on Friday night.

The Cowboys junior starred in the Brisbane Broncos' 22-18 win over the South Sydney Rabbitohs, scoring a hat-trick and also spending time at halfback after an injury to Brodie Croft.

The performance had many, including former NSW coach Phil Gould, putting Staggs in Origin contention.

State of Origin and it's scheduling remains in a state of limbo this year due to the coronavirus pandemic but Broncos coach Seibold said 21-year-old Staggs has what it takes the reach that level.

"Kotoni can do whatever he wants in the game," Seibold said post-game.

"Like a lot of the young guys there, if he continues to work and is diligent with his preparation ... then their potential is unlimited."


Staggs knows Origin is a possibility, as well.

After cementing his place in the Broncos' starting lineup early last year Staggs has gone from strength to strength.

He represented Tonga last year, showing his versatility by playing in the halves there, and as special as that experience was the dream has always been a NSW State of Origin jersey.

"I didn't even think about Australia or Tonga growing up. It was always the Blues," Staggs told NRL.com.

"That is what I want to chase this year and hopefully if I can keep playing consistent footy, Freddy [Fittler, NSW coach] is watching."

Staggs grabbed his side's first try when muscling through the Rabbitohs defence inside 10 minutes at an empty Suncorp Stadium.

The Rabbitohs stormed back into the match after the slow start but Staggs second and third tries, in the 49th and 57th minutes, put the hosts back in control.

Staggs and the Broncos are scheduled to take on the Gold Coast Titans next Sunday in round three.

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