Copley, 17, named in Broncos squad - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Copley, 17, named in Broncos squad

By Laine Clark 02/06/2009 07:31:06 PM Comments (0)

As much as he rates rising star Dale Copley, Brisbane coach Ivan Henjak hopes he won't have to use the exciting 17-year-old in Friday's NRL clash against Melbourne.

The young centre will only play if the Broncos' State of Origin stars don't back up from Wednesday night's series opener in Melbourne - a nightmare scenario for Henjak ahead of their crunch game.

Copley trained with the Broncos on Tuesday morning along with the others named as Origin cover in the 22-strong Brisbane squad - Jharal Yow Yeh, Palmer Wapau and Josh McGuire.

And he will travel down to Melbourne on Wednesday to train ahead of the Storm clash at Olympic Park.

But that's where Henjak would prefer Copley's involvement ends, for now anyway.

"Dale is probably hoping he does get a run but we are hoping everyone gets through Origin okay and we can go out with a full strength team," Henjak said on the Broncos website.

"(But) Dale has been going very well in the 20s (Toyota Cup).

"He's a young kid who we have had our eye on for a long time.

"He has a great attitude. We are confident he will do a good job if he gets called up."

Acknowledgment from Henjak continues a dream run for Copley, who turns 18 in July.

The youngster was recently re-signed by the Broncos until the end of 2011 and has life after football already figured out - he is currently studying a four-year pharmacy course at the University of Queensland.

Playing for the Broncos may be a great "day job" for Copley, but Henjak hoped that the teenager wouldn't have to clock in for work just yet.

Overall, the Broncos will be sweating on six players backing up from Origin I at Etihad Stadium.

"I've named a 22-man squad just to cover every scenario that might happen after Origin," Henjak said.

"We want to cover every position.

"There's a couple of guys there from the under 20s who can back up for them if they don't back up from Origin."

Henjak admitted the Broncos (2nd; 8-3 record) would need to be at full strength against Melbourne (6th; 6-1-4) as they again attempt to ward off an Origin hangover.

"It is a tough match for us down there - we will have our work cut out for us," Henjak said.

"It (Olympic Park) is one of those grounds that have been difficult for us to win at.

"And they are always big games when you play someone in the top eight.

"If you are ahead of them it gives you more of a cushion.

"It is an important game for them (Melbourne) but also gives us an opportunity to establish ourselves in the top four."

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