Halfback mystery deepens

CONSPIRACY theorists would have had a field day at Brisbane's training session yesterday.

The guessing game over just who would replace injured Peter Wallace at halfback for Saturday night's NRL preliminary final at Melbourne should have concluded, but there were only more questions once the man named at No.7 - Alex Glenn - eventually emerged at their Red Hill training base.

The Kiwi utility appeared for about 10 minutes before rushing off, apparently to keep him fresh for the rest of the week.

It would have been a surprise move to hook Glenn from training if they had done it ahead of a regular season game.

But the fact the Broncos opted to rest Glenn ahead of a grand final qualifier had many scratching their heads.

Adding to the mystery was the fact former Queensland Origin utility PJ Marsh - largely overlooked this season by the Broncos - was seen running around along with Brisbane's gun Toyota Cup halfback Ben Hunt.

To really confuse matters, former Test cricketer Andrew Symonds - dressed from head to toe in official Broncos training gear - was also heavily involved in the session.

Suddenly the tongue in cheek suggestion by Allan Langer earlier this week that he would dust off the boots against Melbourne didn't seem so ridiculous.

For the record, Symonds is just “helping out” at the Broncos - and they have no complaints.

Since Symonds emerged at Red Hill after Brisbane's record 56-0 loss at Canberra, the Broncos have gone on a seven-game winning run that has them on track for a seventh premiership.

Langer was also sighted at training - albeit in his official capacity as a Broncos assistant coach.

After watching Glenn throw a couple of unconvincing passes away from the rest of the squad before promptly departing, the popular theory was still skipper Darren Lockyer switching to halfback and veteran Tonie Carroll featuring at pivot against the Storm.

Not that Henjak cared.

The Broncos coach stressed that Glenn had not taken part in a Monday session “for weeks”.

He also defended putting Glenn in cotton wool by slapping a media ban on the utility - just days ahead of the pressure cooker atmosphere of a must-win finals clash at Melbourne.

“I don't think he needs all the extra attention,” Henjak said.

“It's a new position for him and he has got his head around it and I'd just like him to be able to concentrate on that this week.

“That will be a big enough job for him this week.”



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