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This current Broncos forward pack is a long way from being the best they’ve ever had - is it the biggest?

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Roar Guru
19th April, 2024
27
1117 Reads

Like most clubs, the Brisbane Broncos have had their fair share of big boppers over the years, many of them legends of the game.

From the early years, there was Greg Dowling who ran out in their inaugural team back in 1988, Sam Backo who joined him from Canberra just a year later, big Andrew Gee who had 255 games for the club and Glenn Lazarus who was a key factor in their first Premiership win in 1992.

They were followed by the cross-Tasman dual international Brad Thorn who had two stints with the club, damaging backrower stalwarts Gordon Tallis and Sam Thaiday and one of the best pair of bookends of all time in Shane Webcke and Peter Civoniceva.

Throw in the likes of big men in Carl Webb, Tom Learoyd-Lahrs, Greg Eastwood, Ben Hannant, Adam Blair, Tevita Pangai Junior and the enigmatic Dave Taylor and the self-serve buffet at the Broncos forwards’ reunion is going to require some serious investment.

All very big boys, and most of them had the ability to match their size – sorry “Coal Train” – but the club usually only had no more than two or three of the big boppers at their disposal at any one time.

Now compare that to today’s Broncos forward lineup, where any number of them would need to book two seats on a domestic flight.

Check these guys out:

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Fletcher Baker: 197cm 107kg
Patrick Carrigan: 190cm 106kg
Payne Haas: 194cm 114kg
Jaiden Hunt: 191cm 111kg
Corey Jensen: 188cm 107kg
Jordan Riki: 190cm 105kg
Marty Taupau: 190cm 112kg
Benjamin Te Kura: 205cm 122kg
Xavier Willison: 199cm 114kg

That’s “Land of the Giants” material in anyone’s book.

Just to put the size of the modern middle forward into perspective when compared to the great front rowers of the past, rugby league immortal and front row wrecking ball of the 1960s and 1970s Arthur Beetson was 188cm tall and played at 105kg.

Big, mobile forwards are hard to combat, and with this lot averaging just a shade over 25 years of age – even allowing for the 35-year-old Marty Taupau – they could be terrorising opponents at Suncorp Stadium for many years to come.

No wonder the Broncos did so well last year and are one of the favourites for this year’s premiership. Surely no other team can boast a pack as big as this?

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