Prince ousts Norman as Bronco's five-eighth
Coach Anthony Griffin had a reassuring message for disappointed Corey Norman after preferring new arrival Scott Prince at five-eighth for Brisbane's NRL season-opener against Manly.
Norman was hoping to hold onto the No.6 jumper after inheriting it last season following champion Darren Lockyer's retirement.
But former Test halfback Prince's trial form, work ethic and attitude since lobbing from Gold Coast in the off-season edged him ahead of Norman for a halves spot alongside Peter Wallace in the team for Saturday week's clash at Suncorp Stadium.
Griffin still wanted Norman in his starting 13 and a serious knee injury to Dale Copley allowed him to move Josh Hoffman to the wing to accommodate the talented youngster at fullback.
The coach pointed out that Lockyer had spent seven seasons at fullback before taking over at five-eighth in 2004.''He (Norman) is a bit disappointed at the moment because five-eighth is his preferred position but he understands it is about what is best for the team,'' said the coach.
''There's another good five-eighth who finished his career a few years ago who played a lot of fullback when he was younger and it didn't hurt him.
''He (Norman) has never let the club down there. He was the first guy who took over (at fullback) from Karmichael (Hunt) as an 18-year-old and got man of the match.''
Griffin had some other selection surprises.
He named representative prop Ben Hannant on his bench, again pushing skipper Sam Thaiday into the front-row to accommodate edge runner Matt Gillett in a powerhouse back-row along with Alex Glenn and lock Corey Parker.
Griffin was coy about what side of the field Prince would play on against the Sea Eagles, quipping ''Brisbane''.
Prince said he arrived at the Broncos with no promises and his starting role was welcome reward for his commitment since.
''I've had to work really hard throughout the pre-season and I've played some really good games throughout the trials,'' said Prince.
Forwards Alex Glenn (medial) and Josh McGuire (hip flexor) were rested from training on Friday but neither is in doubt for round one.