New Brisbane coach Kevin Walters has struck his first retention blow with boom prop Tom Flegler rejecting mega offers from Sydney clubs to ink a $1.3 million extension with the Broncos.

In a boost for the Broncos ahead of their return to pre-season on Monday, Flegler has knocked back offers of up to $800,000-a-season from rival clubs to sign a two-year upgrade, keeping him at Brisbane until the end of 2023.

The deal is worth an estimated $650,000 annually, meaning Flegler sacrificed $300,000 over a two-year term, but the Tully tearaway opted to stay loyal and show faith in the Broncos' new regime under Walters.

 

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The 21-year-old endured a frustrating 2020 campaign, undergoing shoulder surgery in August, but that didn't stop four NRL rivals, including the Bulldogs and Dragons, expressing interest in the 108kg bookend.

Despite his erratic form over the past 18 months, Flegler is rated one of the code's most promising front-rowers and was named in Queensland's Emerging Origin squad in 2019.

Likened in style to Brisbane legend Shane Webcke with his toughness and fearless running style, Flegler had the opportunity to be part of Canterbury's new era under Trent Barrett, but the 36-game rookie is determined to fire at the Broncos.

 

Tom Flegler turned his back on big offers from Sydney clubs. Picture: Matt Taylor
Tom Flegler turned his back on big offers from Sydney clubs. Picture: Matt Taylor

 

 

"I could have made a lot more money elsewhere, however I trust my agent and I want to be a one-club player at the Broncos," Flegler said.

"Brisbane signed me as a 15-year-old and I want to repay their faith and the loyal fans who have stuck by us.

"I want to just want improve as a player.

"I am looking forward to being coached by 'Kevvie' (Walters)."

Flegler underlined his talent when he destroyed Souths in round two, amassing 170 metres, tackle busts and three offloads in a 22-18 upset of Wayne Bennett's Bunnies.

Walters said Flegler will be a key part of his front-row rotation as the Broncos look to hit back from their horror wooden-spoon finish this year.

 

Kevin Walters loves Tom Flegler’s attitude. Picture: Josh Woning
Kevin Walters loves Tom Flegler’s attitude. Picture: Josh Woning

 

"It's excellent news for us," he said.

"Tom is a wonderful young player and he has been a part of our Queensland Emerging Origin program.

"Tom is on the way back from a shoulder operation but he has an enormous future. I am looking forward to working more closely with him.

"Tom is a very good young prop. He has probably lacked a bit of confidence, but he is physical and loves the tough stuff which is an attitude you need in the position he is playing.

"Like everyone else this year, Tom was below his best, but I have no doubt he is a future Origin player."

Flegler insists he will be fully fit for Brisbane's 2021 season opener.

"The shoulder is feeling amazing," he said. "I am ahead of schedule which is great."

Originally published as Walters lands first signing coup for Broncos



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