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Broncos Albert Kelly selection, Darren Lockyer on Adam Reynolds halves paring, Billy Walters, South Sydney


Broncos legend Darren Lockyer says the “X-factor” trait in playmaker Albert Kelly will be crucial to Brisbane establishing a potent halves combination this season.

Kelly, who produced a spectacular 90-metre try during Brisbane’s upset win over the Rabbitohs last week, has for now secured a spot in the halves alongside off-season recruit Adam Reynolds.

The 30-year-old was handed the five-eighth jersey over fellow halves contender Billy Walters, the son of Broncos coach Kevin Walters.

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Lockyer said Kelly’s threat can give the Broncos a taste of the successful Cody Walker-Adam Reynolds combination NRL fans have been accustomed to in recent years, with the pair grand finalists last year at Souths before Reynolds joined Brisbane.

“Similar to the Cody Walker-Adam Reynolds [combination], Albert is a bit of an X-factor, he plays instinctive, he looks really fit,” Lockyer told Wide World of Sports’ QLDER.

“After his game last week, it makes sense to leave him there.

“Let him know, if he sees something, to back himself.”

Fellow rugby league legend Wally Lewis said the Broncos coach’s decision will work a charm for the club, with Walters shifting out of the halves and into a spot on the interchange.

“I think it’s very good to have him (Walters) there [on the interchange],” Lewis said.

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“He will probably be disappointed to start from there, but I still see him providing a wonderful opportunity for the Broncos when he gets the chance.

“Albert Kelly brought a smile to the face of everybody, he had an entire grandstand watching and riding him after he plucked the intercept.

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“There’s going to be competition for spots at the Broncos. That improves the performance of the players week in and week out.”

The Broncos limited South Sydney to just four points.

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Lockyer said the recruitment of premiership-winning Panther Kurt Capewell sparked new life into the Broncos’ defensive approach.

“The resolve defensively,” Lockyer said when asked what he took out of the win.

“I think Kurt Capewell immediately had an impact from that perspective. That hardened professional player that knows how to hang in games.

“I think he was infectious to the rest of the team.

“They did their homework on Cody Walker, they shut him down. I know whenever he gets the footy you worry if you’re against him, but they did a good job against them.”

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