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At 205cm, Broncos' big Ben has a giant mongrel streak

3 minute read

Brisbane prop Ben Te Kura stands at an NRL record 205cm and will run out against Wynnum on Saturday with a reputation for having aggression to go with his size.

NELSON ASOFA-SOLOMONA.
NELSON ASOFA-SOLOMONA. Picture: Tony Feder/Getty Images

He stands an NRL record 205cm tall, but Brisbane prop Ben Te Kura is no gentle giant, according to his junior mentors.

The 19-year-old behemoth, five centimetres taller than Melbourne's Nelson Asofa-Solomona, will be unleashed in a trial match against Wynnum-Manly on Saturday.

Good luck reaching it, but the Wavell High School product will have a target on his head that will not faze him one bit, according to schoolboy coach and former Broncos hooker Michael Roberts.

"At school Ben was aggressive. One of the key things I liked about him was the mongrel in him. It made me think he might kick on," Roberts told AAP.

"The really big guys are a target and he will have a target on his head, but he is tough enough to handle it in the middle both physically and mentally.

"Ben has done well since leaving school and he has been a good person and worked hard.

"He has done all the little things well and embraced all the values that we certainly push at our school."

With the Broncos losing last year's grand final props Thomas Flegler to the Dolphins and Keenan Palasia to Gold Coast, there is an opportunity for the next generation of Brisbane middles.

Xavier Willison, 21, debuted last year and will play in Saturday's trial alongside Te Kura.

Veterans Corey Jensen and Martin Taupau are also leading contenders for front-row positions.

Broncos assistant Matt Ballin said Te Kura, along with Willison, could both force their way into the 17 this year.

"The door is certainly open, it's up to those boys to take their opportunity," Ballin said.

"Our club is based on working hard and getting an opportunity. Kevin (Walters) is big on competing, and if those guys want to push for a spot in the side, they will be right up there.

"We've been talking to Benny about keeping it really simple. He is a big body.

"He just wants to be playing good minutes at the moment and get his fitness up and make his tackles.

"If he runs the ball he is very damaging, so we just want him to run hard, and if the offload comes off the back of that, it comes."

Te Kura has a history beyond the prop position and was more of a wide running forward as a youth, with a handy offloading ability.

"He was more of an edge back-rower, but he has filled out and is obviously going to end up in the middle,' Roberts said.

"For us he was more damaging on the edge.

"Blokes would come to tackle him and he would reach over them and get the offload away."

Dave Porter, who coached Te Kura in Year 10, said he would have no trouble using his height to advantage.

"Ben was head and shoulders above everyone else in height, always," Porter said.

"You would look up and see this big grin ... and below that would be the heads of the other boys."

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