Which Broncos will survive the axe? (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
Which Broncos will survive the axe? (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Nine Broncos facing axe revealed

Kevin Walters will meet with Brisbane's recruitment and retention committee on Friday as he begins to reshape the Broncos' roster.

The Courier Mail reports as many as nine players are under the pump to hold on to their contracts for 2021 - led by $2 million trio Matt Lodge, Joe Ofahengaue and Jack Bird.

Despite having four years remaining on his contract Lodge is drawing interest from the New Zealand Warriors and the newspaper reports Walters wants a full medical report on the forward's battered body before deciding where his future lies.

Ofahengaue has reportedly caught the eye of St George-Illawarra while the Broncos will hand Bird over to any club willing to pay the bulk of his near $1 million salary.

But the squad slashing might not stop there. Halfback Brodie Croft and captain Alex Glenn will also be discussed, while off-contract quartet Jordan Kahu, Sean O'Sullivan, Richie Kennar and Issac Luke are likely to be punted.

Walters faces an enormous task in rebuilding the wooden spooner for the start of next season, which will start with star outside back Kotoni Staggs on the sidelines until round 13 or 14 as he recovers from an ACL injury.

Staggs is no certainty to play more than a handful more games in Brisbane as he comes off contract at the end of the 2021 season.

Tevita Pangai Jr, currently working in a Brisbane garden nursery as part of the requirements of his return to play after being suspended for a COVID breach, will be back - as will Anthony Milford, whose career Walters hopes to revive.

"You just want to win and we didn't do that this year, we failed to do that. I know next year is going to be different," player of the year award winner Payne Haas said.

"Obviously Kev is going to have high expectations and we have to live up to it but that's the Broncos club in itself. You just have to live up to it."

Kevin Walters faces an uphill battle. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)
Kevin Walters faces an uphill battle. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

David Fifita, who attended Brisbane's awards night but left after the official proceedings after not getting a mention, heads the list of departures after signing with the Gold Coast Titans.

Darius Boyd and Matt Gillett have retired but fellow veteran Ben Te'o is expected to be given another season.

"I haven't tapped anyone on the shoulder yet, there are no definite calls at this stage," Walters told the Courier Mail.

"However, I am meeting with the club's recruitment and retention people (on Friday) and we are going to get stuck into the roster then.

"I will be looking at changes, but it won't just be my decision. We have a committee who makes these decisions on the roster and I will have discussions with them."

Originally published as Nine Broncos facing axe revealed