Kevin Walters in eye-opening Tristan Sailor move amid sad NRL fallout for Adam Reynolds

The head coach of Brisbane, Kevin Walters has cleared the air on his decision to overlook Tristan Sailor for selection in the Broncos’ halves in the absence of injured No.7 Adam Reynolds.

The Broncos have been plagued by injury to their inspirational halfback and skipper, after it emerged that he had torn a bicep in last week’s big loss to the Roosters and is expected to miss 12-14 weeks of NRL action.

Second choice halfback Jock Madden is also still unavailable for Walters’ side with a pectoral injury and fans may have been expecting to see Sailor called up to partner Ezra Mam in the halves after starring at fullback in the absence of Reece Walsh earlier in the season.

Sailor also has experience at five-eighth and showcased his ball-playing prowess in the gritty two-point loss to the Storm in round five.

The 25-year-old son of Broncos legend Wendell Sailor threw a sublime cut-out pass to Jesse Arthars that led to an Ezra Mam try. And he delivered a clever catch and pass that helped Reynolds put through a kick for Arthars to score later in the first half.

Sailor looked dangerous almost every time he chimed in on Brisbane’s backline plays, with many fans calling for him to get more game time at the Broncos.

The devastating injury to Reynolds appeared to have presented Sailor with just that opportunity and a chance to forge a partnership with Mam in the halves for Brisbane.

But Walters has made a stunning selection call by opting to overlook Sailor and hand the halfback reins to Josh Rogers, a development list squad player at the Broncos who normally plies his trade with the Burleigh Bears in the Queensland Cup.

At 186cm and 96kg, Rogers is a big unit for a halfback, a strong ball-runner with a willingness to take on opposition defences and a decent kicking game. And Walters says the 27-year-old has earnt his opportunity to step up for Brisbane and stamp his mark on Broncos in the absence of Reynolds.

“There were a couple of options for us, with Tristan Sailor as well, but Josh has been playing in the halves and playing the type of football that will be good for us on Friday night against Parramatta,” Walters said on on 4BC’s Wide World of Sports Radio.

“He’s been in really good touch for Burleigh in the Queensland Cup and he’s earned his right to make his way into the team. Jock Madden would have been playing, but he is going to miss another week or two.”

Pat Carrigan is set to captain the Broncos in the absence of Reynolds and has thrown his support behind the veteran No.7’s replacement. He says the Broncos are not expecting Rogers to try and mirror Reynolds’ game and have encouraged the stand-in halfback to play to his own strengths.

“Josh Rogers just needs to be Josh Rogers. He doesn’t need to be Adam Reynolds. If we get the best version of Josh then that will be alright,” Carrigan said.

“Josh is experienced and a lot of people that watch Q Cup would probably say he should have played a lot more NRL games already.

“He is a good kid, wants to fit in and do his best for the team. That’s what we are all about. I am really excited to play with him Friday night. I think he has nearly got me covered (in size). He will be strong defensively and will work (in defence) with Jordan Riki and Kotoni Staggs.”



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *