Daly Cherry-Evans has been endorsed as a perfect fit for Brisbane by inaugural Broncos captain Wally Lewis.

Queensland captain Daly Cherry-Evans has been endorsed as a perfect fit for Brisbane by inaugural Broncos captain and rugby league Immortal Wally Lewis.

There has been speculation that Manly might consider parting ways with Cherry-Evans, 32, to free-up more than $1 million per season in their salary cap. The Broncos, meanwhile, just lost halfback Tom Dearden to the Cowboys and remain in dire need of more experienced players.

While Lewis does not expect Manly to release DCE, he said that the Test halfback would be an ideal signing for hapless Brisbane, who haven’t boasted a champion player in the halves and a genuine leader since Darren Lockyer.

“It’s something that the Broncos have probably been a little bit weak at since that time,” Lewis told Wide World of Sports’ QLDER.

“The direction, I think, is a wonderful thing to be able to provide for some of the newer players in the club. From Locky’s time there, it certainly has been eroding away at the Broncos.

“Having been there for a few of the training sessions, we’ve been standing there almost stunned at how quiet it is at the Broncos. It’s not just on the football field that you need to show that direction and leadership, it’s on the training paddock as well. That’s where they’re really missing it most at the moment.

“They need somebody in charge that the players all trust, they all feel comfortable with. Certainly his performances for Queensland, Australia and Manly previously have shown that Daly Cherry-Evans can do that.

“He’s done it at Manly and he’s quite capable of doing it at the Broncos.”

Lockyer, now a Broncos director, also played down the chances of Cherry-Evans moving but admitted that Brisbane lacked leadership.

“That’s the first I’ve heard of it,” Lockyer said on QLDER.

“The Broncos, obviously we just lost Tom Dearden, so if you’re looking for that organising halfback, DCE’s one of those candidates. He’s the Queensland captain.

“DCE at his age, 32 … Benji Marshall’s still going good at 36. What was Cam Smith, he was 46 and he was still playing well. So it’s not like [he’s done], he’s got a few years left in him yet. The only way you would even consider letting Daly go would be if you had an up-and-comer; they don’t. I’d be surprised if he moves.

“You would know, Wal, whether you’re a six or a seven, you could demand the football and change the game. You didn’t have to use words, you could just say, ‘Give me the ball and I’ll do something’.

“I think that’s [lacking]. At the moment, probably Payne Haas is the one player that’s having an impact with the football.

“The other day (against Parramatta), when they had to do so many tackles in that heat, there’s just no one there at the moment that’s got the confidence to say, ‘Give me the football and I’ll change it’.”

Lockyer admitted that luring DCE would give Brisbane greater recruitment leverage; a player that other stars might switch clubs to play alongside. Yet he said that retaining boom centre Kotoni Staggs was the current roster priority.

“There’s no doubt that that (recruitment leverage) has a part to play in it,” he said.

“At the moment, the focus has been Kotoni Staggs. I talk about a guy that gets the football and can change things, well, Kotoni’s one of those players.

“That’s where the focus is for the club at the moment. We keep hearing he’s close to making a decision but we’re not going to pressure him.

“But if someone like Kotoni re-signs and then you [sign] another name on the back of that, then you start to build some momentum.”

Other halves options flagged for the Broncos include Parramatta’s Mitchell Moses and Cronulla’s Shaun Johnson. Moses has sparked the greatest interest from Brisbane and Lewis can see why.

“I was a massive fan of Shaun Johnson for years but I think Mitchell Moses, he’s probably a bloke that’s surprised me a little bit,” Lewis said.

“He has gone on to some wonderful performances and I think that probably his age as well, he’s got a few more years left in him. I just believe that the way that he’s been playing his footy recently has been so admirable, it’s impressed everybody.

“Whether you hate Parramatta, you still get on there and look at some of his performances and get severely impressed. He’s done a great job.

“Can he do it at another club? Well, that’s not always guaranteed but I’d be very surprised, if he played the same sort of footy, that he wouldn’t be able to do that.”

Lockyer added: “They’re both good players, they can organise their teams, they both kick well in general play and goal-kick.

“There’s value in both of those [players].”

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