Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Photo by Kevin Farmer
The Brisbane Broncos have once again allowed young talent to slip through their grasp and it comes in the form of brothers De La Salle and Xavier Va’a who the Courier Mail reports have signed with the Sydney Roosters until the end of the 2024 NRL season.
Sydney has been known for poaching young talent from the Broncos before, with the tricolours securing the services of halfback Sam Walker, who has gone on to become a bonafide star in the NRL.
In 2021, Walker has scored seven tries, assisted 17, made 21 line break assists, averaged 62 running metres per game and made 252 tackles for an efficiency rate of 80.8%.
Brisbane have found holding onto their junior talent quite hard in recent years, with David Fifita Jr going to the club’s local rivals the Gold Coast Titans in 2021, continuing his rise and maintaining his place in the Queensland State of Origin squad.
Reece Walsh is arguably the biggest loss for Brisbane thus far, as the Broncos made the conscious decision to release the 19-year-old to the New Zealand Warriors earlier in season 2021.
The fullback has scored nine tries, assisted 10, made 44 tackle breaks, 13 line breaks, averaged 126 running metres per game and made 58 tackles for an efficiency rate of 69% so far this season.
We have also seen reports emerge recently that the Broncos are putting together a plan to try and bring Walsh back to Red Hill.
Current Bronco Xavier Coates made his Origin debut for the Maroons at the end of last season, but is now off to the defending premier Melbourne Storm in 2022, after scoring 14 tries in 29 games for the club.
Other than the fact that the Va’a brothers are promising talents from the Broncos not much else is known; however, it seems as though they will thrive in the Sydney Roosters’ system.
The Broncos have gone from the club that future immortals Cameron Smith and Johnathan Thurston were desperate to play for but never got the chance to, to being one of the more unattractive clubs for juniors to develop at.