Petero Civoniceva heading home to Broncos - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Petero Civoniceva heading home to Broncos

By Wayne Heming 26/07/2011 06:49:11 PM Comments (0)

The wounds have healed and one of Brisbane's favourite sons Petero Civoniceva is heading home to the Broncos to help the NRL club deal with life after Darren Lockyer.

"Losing Locky (next year) is a massive loss but to bring someone like Petero in eases that leadership void on and off the field," said elated Broncos coach Anthony Griffin on Tuesday.

"He'll add a lot to our culture off the field with his professionalism and with who he is."

Civoniceva was forced out of the Broncos in 2007, when Brisbane decided to withdraw their contract offer to him because of salary cap restraints.

It was a disappointing end for a player who should have been a one-club man but after four years at Penrith he now has the chance to exit the Broncos - who he served for 215 matches - on the right note.

However, Civoniceva's homecoming, following three seasons with Penrith, hasn't pleased everyone at the Broncos.

Football operations manager at Brisbane Andrew Gee has hit out at critics quick to suggest the move would discourage the club's young front-rowers hoping to crack the NRL permanently in 2012.

Brisbane have assembled a bunch of raw young props in Josh McGuire (21), Mitchell Dodds (22), Dunamis Lui (21) and David Hala (22), all of whom have first grade starting aspirations.

A former Queensland and Australian front-rower himself, Gee said he'd read early feedback on the internet including some comments Civoniceva would get in the road of the club's developing players.

"All of those players are signed for next year and some for longer, so it's not going to interfere one bit with us keeping our young players here," he told AAP.

"It's only going to benefit them by making them better players for a lot longer."

Starting prop Ben Hannant, 26, was certainly happy with the news when it filtered through to Red Hill during training on Tuesday.

"That's great news. It's unreal for the club, the players and the fans that he is coming back," said Hannant, who returned to Brisbane from Canterbury this season.

Civoniceva's homecoming also raises the question as to whether with his vast playing experience, he'd take over as captain for one season or longer if he decided to keep playing.

But Griffin admitted he hadn't had time to digest the possibility of him taking the reins ahead of the club's established long-serving forwards Sam Thaiday or Corey Parker or even youngster Alex Glenn who many see as a future leader of the club.

"Our focus is about going forward and creating our own era," said Griffin.

"But when someone who has done a service to the club like Petero comes along and we can fit them in, we'll always look at it.

"I think that's a good part of our culture.

"We're trying to break new ground with the players we've got at the moment.

"But someone like Petero, who's a legend at the club, and I don't say that lightly ...

"He's had a great era here previously, he's got that status and that aura about him."

Gee would not confirm speculation the club had offered Civoniceva a position after football to get him back.

"That's something we'll look at after he finishes playing," Gee told AAP.

"We're pretty intent on having Petero around our club for a long time."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

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