Broncos
Broncos

Te’o issues NRL warning after landing Broncos deal

It's official. Ben Te'o is a Bronco again.

Six years after he quit the NRL to play European rugby, Te'o is back in rugby league after today agreeing to a one-year, $100,000 deal with the Broncos.

The whispers about Te'o joining Brisbane have become a roar in the past month and now the incessant speculation is over with the injury-ravaged Broncos finally coming to terms with the former Queensland Origin hitman.

 

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Te'o finalised a short-term contract at Red Hill on Thursday morning and could be available for the Broncos as early as next Thursday when Brisbane travel to the Central Coast for their round-five clash with Manly.

The 33-year-old Te'o played 75 games for Brisbane between 2009-12 and is primed to inject a hard edge at the Broncos despite not having played in the NRL since his title win with Souths in 2014.

"It's crazy how things work out, I'm excited to be back at the Broncos," said Te'o, who secured a release from Japanese rugby side the Sunwolves.

"I am nervous. It's just human nature when you have been out of the game for a long time, I have been playing rugby union for six years, but I haven't been playing squash.

"I have still been taking contact and they are similar games rugby and league, but this is a huge challenge."

 

Ben Te'o’s power game won him 16 Test caps with England. Picture: Getty
Ben Te'o’s power game won him 16 Test caps with England. Picture: Getty

Te'o currently weighs 112kg and is keen to shave around 4kg to be at his ideal playing weight in the NRL.

Given Brisbane's forward injury crisis, Te'o could be running out in Broncos colours next week and while not match fit, he is eyeing a bench spot, dismissing concerns over his advancing years.

"We would all love time but sometimes you don't have time. If Anthony said I need you to play next week, I will play," he said.

"I will do a week of training and if they need some players on the paddock (against Manly) I will step up and do my best.

"The body is good. Like everyone you get your fair share of injuries, but I haven't been beaten up the past six years.

 

Ben Te'o was a menace for defences during his first stint with the Broncos. Picture: Gregg Porteous
Ben Te'o was a menace for defences during his first stint with the Broncos. Picture: Gregg Porteous

"I have to build my fitness-base back, but I'm not a beaten up 33-year-old.

"I'm probably best suited to the bench. My game has changed and I see myself as a middle or edge forward. I see myself as someone who can come off the bench and provide some impact and that's where I will start off.

"I know what I can do and that's give an impact in short minutes."

 

In Payne Haas (left) and David Fifita (right) Brisbane have two of the most exciting forward talents in the NRL. Picture: AAP
In Payne Haas (left) and David Fifita (right) Brisbane have two of the most exciting forward talents in the NRL. Picture: AAP

Te'o may be in his twilight years but his toughness, wisdom and big-game experience are the ideal ingredients for a Broncos side littered with young forwards crying out for senior leadership.

The former Maroons forward has no idea if he will remain at the Broncos next season.

"There's no plans after five months," he said.

"I have signed this contract to play this year and then I will see what happens. I'm not saying I will stay longer or leave, I just want to come back and have a go and I might find out it's time to go or I might find out I want to stay.

"The Broncos is the perfect place for me to play. They had a spot open, they need some boys and I am ready to come and help out."

Originally published as Te'o issues NRL warning after landing Broncos deal



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