Broncos secure Hodges replacement in Roberts

Broncos coach Wayne Bennett has just solved one problem for next season - how to replace retired star Justin Hodges in the centres.

Former Gold Coast Titans flier James Roberts ended weeks of speculation by signing a two-year deal with the Broncos, rejecting overtures from South Sydney and St George Illawarra.

Now Bennett has another dilemma to ponder - who will fill the two wing positions?

Dale Copley had been pencilled in to take over the No.4 jersey from the former skipper, but his position in the team is now in doubt.

With Darius Boyd to line up at fullback, and Jack Reed and Roberts in the centres, the master coach has the choice between Copley, Jordan Kahu, Lachlan Maranta and newcomer Carlin Anderson on the wings.

That suggests the Broncos may let one of that quartet go, and it won't be Anderson who has already drawn high praise from Bennett after switching from QCup premiers Ipswich.

Securing Roberts (left) was a stunning coup for the 2015 NRL runners-up, CEO Paul White saying he was as surprised as anyone the 22-year-old would be playing for Brisbane next season.

"We certainly did not expect this opportunity," White said.

"The negotiations have certainly not been just about the contract value.

"James is one of the most exciting young players in the NRL and we believe playing in the Broncos' system can help take his game to the next level."


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