Captain Capewell ready in Broncos debut

Murray Wenzel |

Wantaway Brisbane fullback Jamayne Isaako looks set to wear the No.1 in Friday’s NRL opener as COVID-19 continues to throw up challenges at Red Hill.

The New Zealand international will play for the Dolphins in their debut season in 2023, Isaako keen for a fresh start at the Redcliffe-based club after slowly losing grip on a first-grade spot in recent seasons.

But he’s likely to be called on for the round one clash with South Sydney after Tesi Niu’s injury opened the door, fellow contender Selwyn Cobbo training on the wing outside him on Monday.

Corey Oates and fellow recruit Jordan Pereira will tussle for the other wing spot, with teenager Cobbo an exciting prospect outside fit-again centre Kotoni Staggs.

Cory Paix had appeared the frontrunner to wear the No.9 against the Rabbitohs, but like captain Adam Reynolds and Kobe Hetherington was missing on Monday due to COVID protocols.

Kurt Capewell will captain the side in his club debut if Reynolds isn’t available, the halfback’s presence hinging on a health assessment from club doctors once he tests negative and leaves isolation on Wednesday.

Billy Walters and Albert Kelly trained in the halves, Capewell insisting the club can handle the twists and turns that have come alongside some underwhelming pre-season trial form.

“I’ve never been one to read into trial form .. we can’t help what they say, only what we can do,” he said.

“And we’re ready to rip.

“They’ve (Walters and Kelly) done just as much work in the pre-season (together), they know all the plays and are more than capable of slipping straight in.

“(Isaako) has played a fair big of fullback, knows the role well and the boys respond well to him because of how vocal he is.”

Capewell admitted it was a childhood dream to captain an NRL club but that his teammates shouldn’t expect a Churchillian address on Friday night.

“I’m not a massive talker though, hoping to lead with my actions,” he said.

“To work your way up and learn all the little stuff along the way and finally be regarded as a leader, it does mean a lot.

“It’d be amazing … to do it while Reyno’s not here, it’d be an awesome opportunity.”