Blast from past helps centre Cobbo find Broncos path

Joel Gould |

Brisbane centre Selwyn Cobbo has found form in his new position after shifting from the wing.
Brisbane centre Selwyn Cobbo has found form in his new position after shifting from the wing.

Selwyn Cobbo is taking advice from former and current Brisbane centres as he gets his head around a new position and the rigours of the NRL.

The 21-year-old showcased his instinctive try-scoring nous and power in Friday night’s 28-14 win over the Dolphins at Suncorp Stadium.

His try double in the second half turned the game in his sixth start at left centre this year, after playing the previous two seasons on the wing.

Cobbo, who hails from the small Indigenous community of Cherbourg, found the training and limelight of the NRL tough going early in his career, but advice from club legend Steve Renouf and current Broncos and Australian Test centre Kotoni Staggs put him on the right path.

“It was pretty tough at the start trying to handle what it is like being an NRL player, but I am pretty used to it now. I know the expectation that comes with it and have confidence in what I do now,” Cobbo said.

Kotoni Staggs (left) and Selwyn Cobbo.
Kotoni Staggs (left) has been offering plenty of helpful advice for Broncos teammate Selwyn Cobbo. (Jono Searle/AAP PHOTOS)

“Kotoni is one of the best centres in the game. I have played outside of him (on the wing) and learned a lot off him before going into the centres now. He has been really helpful for me at training, talking to me about the stuff I need to improve.”

Indigenous hero Renouf is the Broncos’ greatest ever centre and try-scorer and grew up in Murgon, a near neighbour of Cherbourg.

He has taken a keen interest in Cobbo’s career and was in the dressing room after Friday night’s win.

“It is good to have (Renouf) in here after games, and he  came up to me and was really happy with my performance,” Cobbo said.

“It is pretty special to play in the same position as him, especially coming from the same place as well. He mentored me growing up and when I moved down (to Brisbane). He has been great for me. He is a good mentor.”

Cobbo said Renouf, who played left centre and scored 142 tries in 183 games, had taken the pressure off him with simple advice.

Steve Renouf, left, and Selwyn Cobbo.
Brisbane centre Selwyn Cobbo (right) credits club legend Steve Renouf (left) for his form. (Russell Freeman/AAP PHOTOS)

“His message is to go out there and have fun. Be Selwyn Cobbo, have confidence in what I do and always be smiling,” Cobbo said.

The defensive side of being a centre is his greatest challenge, but Cobbo said he had good guidance from No.6 Ezra Mam.

“I am working with Ezra and getting up (together) with him,  staying square and making my tackles once the ball goes past me,” Cobbo said.

Cobbo has played four games for Queensland in State of Origin on the wing. He missed the second and third game of last year’s series with a hip injury.

“My head is with the Broncos now, but if I get the call-up I will play my part in Origin,” he said.

Cobbo has now scored six tries in three derby clashes with the Dolphins.

“Every team wants a rivalry and the Redcliffe Dolphins are one for us. It is a special night playing against them,” he said.