Teen Bronco storms into frame for NRL debut
BRONCOS teenager Thomas Flegler has declared he is ready for an NRL baptism after storming into favouritism to replace suspended prop Payne Haas.
Flegler took another step towards making his NRL debut in Brisbane's season-opener against Melbourne on March 14 with an eye-catching performance against Wynnum-Manly on Saturday night.
In a scrappy 26-12 win at Kougari Oval, Flegler scored a try and was one of Brisbane's best to show coach Anthony Seibold he is ready for the NRL.
Facing up in an NRL front-row battle at just 19 would be a challenge for anyone, but Flegler insists he is ready to take on the mighty Storm.
"I'll back myself," he said.
"I was happy with my performance. I wanted to get out my minutes and have a solid game. There are a few things to work on but I was happy.
"I'd love to play NRL. I've always wanted to, but there are a lot of good players in the team.
"I'm happy to wait my turn. Whoever gets a spot gets a spot."
Flegler and Pat Carrigan, 21, were both strong in the Wynnum-Manly trial and will get another crack against the Gold Coast Titans on Saturday at Cbus Super Stadium.
Broncos assistant coach Ben Cross, who held the clipboard in the clash with the Seagulls, said the two young forwards put their hands up.
"(Flegler) did definitely (make a statement) in the first 10 minutes. He really made a big stamp on the game," Cross said.
"He was very strong in his first instance.
"Patty Carrigan was good as well.
"There are a few guys chomping at the bit for a front row position."
Journeyman Shaun Fensom was also solid in his first hitout in Broncos colours and is a reliable option for Seibold along with Patrick Mago.
But Flegler has an x-factor about him.
At 190cm and 108kg, the strawberry-blond haired prop is an imposing figure on the field and has been likened to Broncos legend Shane Webcke.
He backed up his strong carries with stinging defence which forced a turnover in-goal and a try for young playmaker Cory Paix.
Flegler's development has been stifled by shoulder and ankle injuries in recent years, but the north Queensland product has come through the other side and is ready to take the next step.
"I had a few injuries over the last couple of years that set me back a little bit," Flegler said.
"I'm hoping to get a full season out this year. There is heaps of stuff I need to improve on, I've got a long way to go.
"(Seibold) has told me to be consistent. That's a big one for me."
Seibold is expected to field his best 17 for the Titans trial, but is sweating on the availability of five-eighth Anthony Milford (hamstring).