Two spots are still up for grabs on Brisbane’s 2020 roster, and coach Anthony Seibold wants Ben Te’o to fill one of them.
However, Seibold has confirmed Te’o will be on a minimum wage if he decides to return to Red Hill.
Seibold said he was interested in speaking with Te’o who will reportedly be a free agent when his contract with Japan’s Super Rugby side the Sunwolves expires at the end of the month.
Te’o, 33, has been linked to the Broncos since being spotted training in Brisbane during the Super Rugby coronavirus lockdown.
And speculation was rife that Brisbane were ready to pounce after they last week released Andrew McCullough from the final year of his contract so the veteran hooker could play the rest of 2020 for Newcastle.
Seibold said nothing had been finalised ahead of Thursday night’s NRL return clash with Parramatta but admitted Te’o was a perfect fit.
“We have got to fill two spots before June 30 and both minimum wage,” he said.
“If Ben wants to come and play for us I would love to have him because he is experienced.
“If it is not Ben it has got to be somebody … (but) I would like it to be Ben.
“Who wouldn’t want someone who has done what he has done in both codes?”
Te’o is a veteran of 152 NRL games including 75 for the Broncos during a four-season stint from 2009.
But Te’o has not played NRL since helping South Sydney win their famous 2014 premiership.
He switched to rugby at the end of that year with success, playing 16 Tests for England.
But Te’o, who also played seven State of Origin games for Queensland, will only sign on for a mimimum wage of $75,000 if he returns to the Broncos.
Still, Seibold remained hopeful.
“Ben is obviously a player of interest. If Ben wants to come and play for us for minimum wage I would love to have him,” he said.
“My understanding is that he is still contracted with the Sunwolves. Until he gets a bit of clarity with what their commitments are with Super Rugby then he is not available.
“(But) I know he loves the Broncos.”
Meanwhile, Seibold wasn’t sure if he had seen the last of McCullough who can return to Brisbane next year if he doesn’t earn a new deal with Newcastle or a NRL rival.
“He is highly regarded at the Broncos (but) I am not sure what that means going forward in 2021,” Seibold said.