Depth key to premiership hopes

DAN Coburn is the latest in a long and impressive list of recruits that will ensure Brothers will challenge for IRL favouritism in 2011.

Coburn joins Goodna foursome Sione and Andy Piutau, Ben Seve and Ezra Lemafa and former North Queensland Cowboy back Ray Mercy as new recruits.

The Piutaus and Coburn will boost the Brothers forward pack to enviable levels while Mercy’s experience, Seve’s brilliance and Lemafa’s reliability will give their backline extra potency and composure.

Mercy has successfully overcome surgery and is expected back in training soon.

But that is just the start of the Brothers’ revival.

Premiership-winning captain of 2009, prop Tyron Day, is also recovering from surgery on the injured elbow that hampered his 2010 finals campaign and has shelved retirement plans.

Back rowers Liu Faamata and Dane Turner return after missing the 2010 season with knee injuries and will be joined by former premiership-winning forwards Tex Chapman and Brett McGrath, who have come out of retirement.

“We were lacking depth last year,” said coach Heath McQueen, whose attempt to take the club to its fifth straight title last year was thwarted by Swifts in the grand final.

“When we got an injury, it did a lot of damage.”

The lack of depth also meant a lack of competition for spots, unlike at Swifts where their huge recruitment drive 12 months ago saw their 2010 Reserve grade team resembling an A grade squad. “A lot of blokes are going to have to fight for spots,” McQueen said.

See next Saturday’s Game On to find out who Swifts have recruited for 2011.

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