Embattled Brisbane have named forward Ben Te’o for Thursday’s NRL clash with Manly.
Broncos coach Anthony Seibold confirmed on Tuesday the former Queensland State of Origin player will play off the bench against the Sea Eagles at Central Coast Stadium.
It will be Te’o’s first NRL appearance since the 2014 grand final, when he was part of South Sydney’s premiership-winning team.
The 33-year-old has spent the past six years in rugby union, making 16 Test appearances for England and playing two Tests for the British and Irish Lions.
Seibold said Te’o had been impressive in his training stints and the veteran would add experience and size as the Broncos attempt to respond from Thursday’s record 59-0 thrashing by Sydney Roosters.
“I just think having him part of the group, he’s played in the biggest games in both rugby codes all around the world,” Seibold said.
“I thought long and hard about it.
“I thought he trained very well on Sunday … although he hasn’t played rugby league for some time, we believe that he can do a job off the bench for us.”
As well as Te’o’s return, Seibold confirmed Corey Oates will shift from the wing to the back row with David Fifita (knee) and Alex Glenn (leg cut) both injured and Tavita Pangai Jnr still suspended.
“Obviously an opportunity this week to try and turn our performance around,” Seibold said.
“With the injuries we’ve got with our starting back-rowers at the moment, we need to have a look at adding a little bit of experience there.
“Oatesy’s come through as a back-rower, he’s always wanted to play back row so I feel as though he can do the job there this week.”
The switch will bring Xavier Coates into the squad, while Seibold said his halves pairing of Brodie Croft and Anthony Milford will remain unchanged despite the disappointing results of the past fortnight.