Gillett’s fear for Broncos’ talent bleed
Veteran backrower Matt Gillett says the Broncos must do everything they can to hold on to boom young forward David Fifita as rival clubs prepare a poaching raid on the 19-year-old star.
Fifita was outstanding for the Broncos during their blockbuster 22-20 loss to the Rabbitohs last Friday night.
The young gun bagged two tries, 119 running metres and 15 tackle busts during the game in one of his best performances of the year so far.
Coming off contract at the end of next year, the rising star has sparked interest from rival clubs, including a potential $1 million deal with the Warriors.
The Broncos are keen to hold on to the in-demand Maroons representative as part of their Red Hill retention plan and will begin extension talks in the coming weeks.
However, the club faces salary cap pressure following the $4 million upgrade for Matt Lodge and Tevita Pangai Jr.
Broncos stalwart Gillett said the club had to find a way to keep the young gun at Red Hill.
"Davey's shown what he can do once he gets his chance and what an exciting player he is," Gillett said.
"He's so powerful and strong. He's one that, as a Broncos club, we need to hold on to."
Fifita, a Souths Acacia Ridge junior, attended Keebra Park high school on the Gold Coast and has been part of the Broncos system since a kid.
"He's been here for a long time now coming through the ranks so it's important for us as a club to try and hold him," Gillett said.
"But it's a big ballpark out there and a lot of offers will probably get thrown his way from the way he's playing.
"He represented Queensland this year. He's been one of our best players at the back end of this year. We all know what he can do and hopefully he can sort his future out and stays in a Broncos jersey."
It comes as Gillett looks set to lead the Broncos to a finals appearance after spending the past two months on the sideline due to injury.
The 31-year-old made his return to the NRL last Friday after niggling injuries to his groin and lower-back kept him out of the game since their June 29 clash with Newcastle.
Gillett suffered groin soreness at training in Camp Maroon in the lead up to the Origin decider in July and was set to return for the Titans clash in Round 19.
However, a weights training mishap at Red Hill injured his L5 disc in his lower back just days out from the game which delayed his return to rugby league for a further month.
"I was just doing some weights, getting ready to come back against the Titans and then just in the gym there, I hurt my L5 disc," Gillett said.
"It was a bit irritated and it wasn't getting better too quickly.
"It took a bit of time there to calm down, let the swelling get out."
It comes as the veteran backrower returned to the NRL this year after suffering two hairline fractures in his neck and undergoing shoulder surgery last season.
He said it had been a frustrating stint on the sideline but was poised to make an impact for the Broncos' in their final fortnight of regular season football.
"Disappointing," Gillett said of suffering back-to-back injuries.
"Injuries, all of us players in rugby league go through that and there's no worse feeling sitting on the sidelines being injured.
"It's great to be back with the boys. I just had to get stuck in there and get my rehab done.
"Not doing that contact week in, week out of the NRL, your body likes that bit of rest.
"Two more games to go in the season and I'm feeling pretty fresh at the moment.
"Hopefully I can make a bit of an impact on the field with how I'm feeling and play some good footy."
Stream the 2019 NRL Telstra Premiership on KAYO SPORTS. Every game of every round Live & On-Demand on your TV, computer, mobile or tablet. Get your 14 day free trial >