Sam Thaiday is hoping a return to his preferred back-row spot in 2014 can spark an NRL revival at the Brisbane Broncos
Captain Sam Thaiday is banking on a permanent return to his preferred back-row position to help spark a Brisbane NRL revival next year.
Thaiday was a somewhat reluctant fixture in the Broncos front-row through much of their disappointing 2013 season due to injuries and a lack of depth in their squad.
But with the Broncos bolstering their prop stocks for next year, Thaiday is eagerly awaiting a move back to the second-row, where he has made his name through much of his 11 seasons at Red Hill and where has represented Queensland and Australia.
“I hope so … I really do miss playing in the back-row,” Thaiday told AAP.
“It just gives you a little bit more freedom and the opportunity to be more of a ball player which is something I really like to do.
“Just to get away from playing straight up and down the field … it is a role I have played in the past but hopefully with the changes that have been made at the Broncos for next season I will be playing a bit wider.”
“We have got some good Under-20s who have been promoted to the top 25 and with Martin Kennedy here too we have got some depth.
“Hopefully that means I will get to play a bit wider, a role I played with Australia at the World Cup and I really enjoy.”
Thaiday’s plight this year summed up Brisbane’s season as they struggled from start to finish and failed to qualify for the finals for just the second time in 21 years.
The 28-year-old was explosive on the edges as Queensland claimed an unprecedented eighth straight State of Origin series win but at club level he was asked to ply his trade up the middle.
He struggled for impact at times and Brisbane missed his ability to challenge the defensive line out wide, but he was still one of the Broncos’ best players alongside Corey Parker and Justin Hodges.
Thaiday said the acquisition of Kennedy from premiers the Sydney Roosters and the emergence of a several promising youngsters including Francis Molo and Ajuma Adams should add starch to the Broncos pack for 2014.