The Broncos have splashed $1.2 million to keep boom back-rower Brendan Piakura out of the hands of rival NRL clubs.
The Broncos have splashed $1.2 million over three years to keep boom back-rower Brendan Piakura as rival clubs prepared to swoop on the 18-year-old.
Piakura, who turns 19 next month, is a former Australian Schoolboys and Queensland Under 18s star and is seen as a big part of Brisbane’s future forward pack.
The Broncos announced the three-year-deal this afternoon, with Piakura’s signature following on the heels of a deal to upgrade fellow back-rower Jordan Riki, who was also in danger of being lost to the struggling powerhouse.
Broncos coach Kevin Walters trumpeted the signing just hours before his 1-4 side hosts the Panthers to kick off Round 6.
“He’s a very good young player who has been in our pathways system for many years,” Walters said.
“It’s great to see him sign a three-year contract to stay at the club, and coming off the back of Jordan Riki’s contract news a few weeks back, it shows that the Broncos are heading in the right direction.”
The re-commitment of Piakura and Riki puts them among a talented young group of Broncos forwards who have been secured on multi-year deals.
The list of young tyros also includes Payne Haas, Pat Carrigan, Tom Flegler and Ethan Bullemor, giving the Broncos the makings of a dominant pack for years to come.
Piakura’s signing is a particular coup given Bulldogs coach Trent Barrett made a huge effort to poach him, with the Broncos responding with a significant counter-offer in the nick of time.
Piakura toured Canterbury’s facilities twice and was offered a juicy two-year deal that he was on the verge of signing before Walters and Broncos director Darren Lockyer intervened.
Had he decided to leave it would have been the second significant blow to the club’s development stocks, with the Warriors securing the services of promising young fullback Reece Walsh from under the Broncos’ nose last month.
Piakura is yet to make his NRL debut but is expected to get his first taste of the top grade this season.
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