Andre Savelio is finally back to full fitness. (Annette Dew)
Andre Savelio is finally back to full fitness. (Annette Dew)

Broncos’ secret weapon back in action

Andre Savelio was once compared to Sonny-Bill Williams and now the Broncos' English sensation is ready to show the NRL what he is made of.

This week marks a year since Savelio's NRL dream was shattered by a knee injury in a Broncos pre-season trial in regional Queensland.

Ironically, Savelio will pull on a Broncos jersey for the first time since undergoing a knee reconstruction when Brisbane faces Souths-Logan in Warwick on Saturday night.

 

The Broncos brought Savelio to Brisbane in late 2017 with the hope he would develop into a destructive backrower.

Likened in physical stature to dual-code superstar Williams, Savelio was a gun on the rise with Warrington in the Super League before making the long trek to Australia.

But Savelio's NRL dream hit a hurdle when his knee buckled just 14 minutes into his Broncos debut, relegating him to the sidelines for the entire 2018 season.

Savelio impressing for St Helens back in 2015. (Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Savelio impressing for St Helens back in 2015. (Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
 

At 188cm and 108kg, the New Zealand-born Savelio is an imposing prospect for the Broncos and will start in the backrow against the Magpies alongside Redcliffe's Jamil Hopoate.

Savelio, 23, has age on his side in his quest to make it in the NRL like English imports Sam Burgess and James Graham.

And the Broncos are expecting big things from him this season after he fought back from injury to get back into the NRL selection mix.

"Andre has done a lot of work to get his knee back to what it was at this time last year," said Broncos hooker Jake Turpin.

"I hope Andre is full of confidence this weekend because he is a special player as well.

"All the boys are pretty happy for him to get out there and play footy again."

At least some Broncos fans know how Savelio is. (Peter Wallis)
At least some Broncos fans know how Savelio is. (Peter Wallis)

Competition is fierce to play in Brisbane's back row this year.

Test and Origin star Matt Gillett will return from a neck injury in Round 1 and new coach Anthony Seibold has to pick a partner for him out of Alex Glenn, Jaydn Su'A and David Fifita.

Tevita Pangai Jr is expected to start at lock, however he is another potential edge backrower for Seibold to choose from.

Seibold will hand over the clipboard to assistant coach Kurt Richards for the Warwick trial.

The Broncos will play Wynnum-Manly (February 23) and the Gold Coast Titans (March 2) in their other pre-season trials.

 

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