2022-06-02 20:00:00

On the eve of his Origin debut, Kotoni Staggs says the proof is in the pudding as to why he stuck tough with the Broncos through their lowest ebb.

Staggs penned a four-year deal in May last year, just eight months after Brisbane clinched its first wooden spoon in club history.

Fast forward 12 months and Staggs’ sensational form has helped Broncos surge to fourth on the ladder and earned him a Blues jersey.

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The 23-year-old will start in the series opener next Wednesday in his preferred position, right centre, and has revealed the news from NSW coach Brad Fittler caught him by surprise.

“Freddy called me on the Saturday and just told me I was in the team, he caught me off guard,” Staggs said to foxsports.com.au.

“I was at the races actually with a few mates and got a phone call, yeah he told me and straight away I didn’t know what to say to him, I just rang my family and told them.

“I didn’t back a winner and I think that was probably the best winner I could have backed all day anyway.”

Kevin Walters’ men have emerged as the surprise packet of 2022, after adding veterans Kurt Capewell and Adam Reynolds into the mix this season to complement young guns Staggs, Payne Haas and Selwyn Cobbo.

Staggs decision to remain at the Red Hill club didn’t come down to loyalty, just his own happiness.

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“I wouldn’t say it is so much about the loyalty why I stayed, yeah I do love the club and I followed the club as a young kid but I was just really happy there,” Staggs said.

“The Broncos have been good to me and plus my Mum lives there as well so it was really about what my Mum wanted to do and she loves it there so I wasn’t going to leave and make her have no one to support her.

“It has paid off in the long-run, we were going through a pretty tough time when my contract was about to end and a lot of people could have just left, especially being wooden spooners but I just stuck in deep and knew that we were so close to playing good footy.

“It all turned around really quick and now we are sitting where we are on the ladder because we are all putting in for each other.”

Staggs’ Blues selection has been years in the making, with injuries denying him in the past, and the young gun was finally this week able to call his family to share the good news.

“A lot of emotions there, they were proud and just couldn’t believe that my time has come, I have been working really hard to get in this position,” Staggs said.

“It has been a good week, it is still an unreal feeling that I am here, I get to put on this jersey in a week’s time, it is just so you know overwhelming, and I am very grateful.”

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Ikin reveals insight into Haas, Turpin | 08:18

Staggs’ NSW teammate Haas’ situation has been a major talking point over the past week after handing in a request for an immediate release, which Brisbane powerbrokers flatly denied.

Haas has since backflipped on the request, with contract discussions being put off until the end of the 2022 season.

Amid the chaos, the Broncos took on the Titans in Round 12, winning with a huge comeback and Haas had a message for his teammates before kick-off.

“He just said don’t worry about what has come out in the media, it is pretty fake there and he just said ‘keep your heads down, we are here to win a game so let’s all go out and win and whatever happens, happens’,” Staggs said.

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Source by [graycupnews.com]

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