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Johns says Brisbane must snap up Sezer

Aiden Sezer of the Raiders celebrates after kicking the winning field goal in golden point during the round 24 NRL match between the Cronulla Sharks and the Canberra Raiders at Shark Park on September 01, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Roar Guru
18th September, 2019
7

Battling NRL club Brisbane must sign Canberra playmaker Aidan Sezer “tomorrow” if they are to start reversing their fortunes, Andrew Johns says.

Some of Brisbane’s biggest names may not appear in their 2020 NRL season opener after a sobering end of season review in the wake of their humiliating finals exit.

But Andrew Johns is convinced one player must be in their 17 if the former glamour club wants to bounce back next year – Canberra playmaker Aidan Sezer.

Captain Darius Boyd and veteran hooker Andrew McCullough were reportedly told on Wednesday by coach Anthony Seibold that they are not in his round one plans for next year and have “lost the right to wear the jersey”.

There is also speculation Brisbane will allow injury-plagued ex-Cronulla premiership winner Jack Bird to leave a year early if he receives rival offers in a bid to free up salary cap space to re-sign the likes of David Fifita.

And Anthony Milford also appears at a crossroads after Broncos director Darren Lockyer put the $1 million-a-season fullback on notice amid rumours Brisbane would make a play for NFL hopeful and ex-Sharks flyer Valentine Holmes.

While plenty of team changes appear on the cards there seems to be no quick fix for Brisbane after their embarrassing 58-0 elimination final loss to Parramatta.

But rugby league Immortal Johns reckoned Brisbane could take the first step by signing a quality halfback – Sezer.

Teenager Tom Dearden is being groomed as Brisbane’s long term No.7 however Johns believed the Broncos must sign Sezer ASAP.

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Sezer, 28, is not off contract at the Raiders until 2020 but Johns believed he may be tempted to leave if provided the right offer with English halfback George Williams vying for his position when he lobs in Canberra next year.

“If Brisbane have any nous, they’d be buying Aidan Sezer tomorrow,” he told Wide World of Sports.

Melbourne’s Brodie Croft, Canberra’s Sam Williams, South Sydney’s Cody Walker, Cronulla’s Chad Townsend and UK-based Blake Austin have also been identified as possible No.7 targets.

Either way Brisbane would no doubt welcome a world-class halfback after battling to fill the No.7 jersey since the legendary Allan Langer retired in 2002.

Remarkably, the Broncos have used 22 halfbacks in the 17 seasons since Langer hung up his boots.

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And overall they have had 47 halves combinations since winning the last of six titles in 2006.

Brisbane were forced to use makeshift halves Boyd – a representative fullback – and specialist hooker Jake Turpin in 2019 after No.7 Kodi Nikorima left mid-season, pivot Milford moved to fullback and Dearden suffered a foot injury.

Milford showed sparks of brilliance in the No.1 jersey but appears under pressure with speculation not going away that Brisbane will pursue Holmes.

Lockyer admitted Milford would need to work hard in the 2020 pre-season to earn Round 1 selection.

“He’s probably in that category of those senior players that they really need to have a massive off-season for them to cement their spot next year,” he told Wide World of Sports.

© AAP