Tag Archive: Dane Gagai

1. Anthony Mitchell (Eels) – The Eels have struggled to find a regular dummy-half in recent years but with the emergence of 21-year-old Anthony Mitchell in late 2010 their search could soon be over. The highly-rated young hooker boasts all the skills – lightning service, a crisp passing game and speed off the mark. Likely to be part of a three-man rotation for the Eels this year, he will battle for the No.9 jersey with Matt Keating and new arrival Casey McGuire but the general consensus is that the hooking spot will become his alone in the long term. Mitchell played three games for the Eels at the back end of the 2010 season, scoring two tries, and was selected in the Indigenous All Stars side earlier this year.

2. Siuatonga Likiliki (Knights) – Boasting one of the greatest names in rugby league history – right up there with the likes of former Bronco Steele Retchless and South Sydney’s Bronco Djura – Siuatonga Likiliki made a name for himself playing for the Warriors’ premiership-winning Toyota Cup side last season when he scored 19 tries in 25 games. Now with Newcastle, the 20-year-old speedster already has tongues wagging in the Hunter where he will join Akuila Uate in a lightning-fast backline. A Junior Kiwis representative in 2010, Likiliki was named in both the 2009 and 2010 Toyota Cup Team of the Year. Continue reading

Broncos star Ben Hannant spoke last night of his torment after being scratched from a head-to-head duel with the man who took his Test and Origin jumpers last year – new Cowboys co-captain Matt Scott. Brisbane’s top prop Hannant (calf) and strike centre Justin Hodges (hamstring) will both be sidelined from Friday night’s round 1 NRL derby against North Queensland at Suncorp Stadium after restricted training runs yesterday. Hannant’s place in Brisbane’s starting pack is likely to be taken by no-nonsense prop Scott Anderson when rookie head coach Anthony Griffin unveils his first premiership squad today. In other team news, ex-bricklayer Jack Reed and flyer Dane Gagai are set to make their NRL debut, with Reed poised to replace Hodges at centre and face Test star Willie Tonga. Continue reading

Hodges hopes hammy holds up

Brisbane centre Justin Hodges claims he missed too much football in 2010 to gamble his comeback on a dodgy hamstring in Friday week’s NRL season-opener against North Queensland. Hodges, who did not play a minute of football in 2010 because of a ruptured right Achilles, will have scans on Monday to determine the full extent of a hamstring “twinge” which ended his night early in Brisbane’s 26-6 trial win over Melbourne at Redcliffe on Saturday night. “I’m coming back from an Achilles injury and it feels awesome … this is a just a little bump in the road,” Hodges said, dismissing any concerns over his latest setback. “I’ll have scans on Monday but I’ve got a few weeks up my sleeve and I’m normally pretty good with hammys.” Still, the timing of the injury could not have been worse for Hodges. Continue reading

Lockyer regains pace

Darren Lockyer’s three year search for his missing pace is over. Lockyer will confirm he is faster than he’s been since blowing out his anterior cruciate in 2007 when Brisbane hold their speed trials at Red Hill on Tuesday morning. The knee injury, coming off Lockyer’s best ever season in 2006, knocked his confidence around. But his class and determination helped him play on at the highest level without the full strength and power in his right leg. He now believes the hard work he’s put in to restoring strength and flexibility in his injured leg over the past few years is about to pay off. “Yeah, for the first time since my reco (knee reconstruction) in ’07 it’s the best the leg has felt,” said Lockyer after an impressive trial comeback against Melbourne at Redcliffe on Saturday night. Continue reading

Broncos unveil another possible future star

Exciting Brisbane NRL prospect Dane Gagai has the world at his fleet feet after heeding some stern warnings. Broncos insiders say the son of former Mackay rugby league legend Ray Gagai – who played for Queensland Country and was signed by Brisbane in the late 1980s – is “something special”. The former schoolboy rugby union star steps out on the wing in Saturday’s trial against Melbourne knowing a few flashes of brilliance could snare him a debut berth in coach Anthony Griffin’s side for the season opener against the Cowboys next month. Gagai’s father was so quick his feet eeemed to barely touch the grass. Dane is bigger but agile and by no means a slouch. Continue reading