Ipswich lifeline to Broncos
THE baby Brisbane Broncos are set to unleash a talented crop of Ipswich teenagers next season, as the city’s young guns begin their march to the NRL.
The Broncos under-20 Toyota Cup squad for the 2011 season features seven players from the Ipswich region.
It represents the greatest number of youngsters the famous club has ever had on its books and could see a return to the days of Allan Langer and the Walters brothers playing in the maroon and yellow.
The seven players are outside backs Rian Diffey, David Faamita, James Furminger, Jordan Tighe, back rowers Waita Setu, Ben Reuter and prop Zac Lemberg.
There is also 20-year-old Kurtis Lingwoodock who is tipped to be part of the NRL top 25 squad.
They are all training at Red Hill in preparation for next season.
Faamita, Furminger and Lemberg were all signed to the Broncos after impressive seasons for the Ipswich Jets Colts.
Reuter was picked up after starring for the Gatton Hawks in the Toowoomba Rugby League competition.
Setu is the younger brother of former Bronco Lagi who has embarked on a Mormon mission, while Tighe is a rising star just out of high school.
Brisbane Broncos’ Ipswich scout Paul Lowe is responsible for most of the players ending up at the Broncos.
He said most of the teens had been with the Broncos for some time now.
“Its good that Ipswich juniors are being signed up, but these things come and go. Its not like they have all been signed in the past month, they have been affiliated with the club for some time,” Lowe said.
“Jordan Tighe has been there since he was under 15 for instance.
“They all have talent and they all seem to be fitting in well at training at the Broncos.
“But really it is a year-to-year thing. Some years there’s a talented group, others there isn’t.
“It comes and goes and at the moment it’s going really well.”
The group of Ipswich players at the Broncos comes despite the Gold Coast Titans being affiliated with the Ipswich Jets.
The Sydney Roosters are partnered with the Ipswich Junior Rugby League, but they have many Ipswich teens on their books, most still aged 16 and 17.
Furminger said he chose to be part of the Broncos despite interest from the Titans because he grew up supporting the club and saw more opportunity.
“It’s amazing to think I’ll be at the club I’ve been a fan of all my life,” Furminger said.
“My grandma is a huge Broncos fan so she was one of the first people I told and she was stoked for me.”
Ipswich’s baby Broncos
Rian Diffey: Wing, Ipswich Mal Meninga Cup (2010 club)
David Faamita: Centre, Ipswich Jets Colts
James Furminger: Wing, Ipswich Jets Colts
Zac Lemberg: Forward, Ipswich Jets Colts
Ben Reuter: Front Row, Gatton Hawks
Waita Setu: Backrow, West End
Jordan Tighe: Fullback, Ipswich Mal Meninga Cup