The welcome mat has been thrown out for returning forward Tevita Pangai Junior at Brisbane – but not without a warning from coach Anthony Seibold.
Pangai will slot straight into the back-row for Thursday’s NRL clash with Newcastle after serving a four-match ban for dangerous contact in their season-opening win over North Queensland.
But Seibold wants Pangai to play smarter, saying it was time the Tongan international repaid their faith by finding a way to stay on the field while keeping his trademark aggression.
Pangai has now been suspended for a total of 12 weeks since the start of 2019, and the Broncos have won only two of those dozen games without the enforcer.
Asked if Pangai had to change his approach ahead of yet another post-ban return, Seibold said: “”It is a balance because you don’t want to take away what Tevita’s strengths are which is being aggressive and having plenty of intent on both sides of the footy.
“The last two times that Tevita has got himself in trouble it was just probably a rush of blood on both occasions so he has got to be a little bit smarter there.
“We don’t want Tevita to change how he plays the game. I like how he plays the game.
“It is about learning and being a little bit smarter with some of his actions on the field.”
But Seibold hinted that Pangai was keen to make amends against the Knights as the 12th-placed Broncos look to snap a two-game losing run.
“He has trained really consistently since we have come back from the COVID break,” he said.
“He started the season really well against the Cowboys but was really disappointed with his actions to get suspended.
“He has got an opportunity to go out there and help the team.”