For the first time, the Brisbane Broncos went overseas for talent, signing two 21-year-old Test rugby union backs on three year Super League deals.
The signing of George Harder (Western Samoa) and Peter Tanginoa (Tonga) effectively ended the Broncos’ recruiting drive for 1996.
Broncos’ CEO, Shane Edwards said Harder had been signed on the recommendation of recruitment chief, Cyril Connell after outstanding performances for Samoa in the union World Cup in South Africa.
Tanginoa, introduced to the Broncos by his manager, was signed on the basis of scrutiny of tapes of his play for Tonga and his Auckland club.
Connell told the Broncos he believed there were only two or three players from rugby he believed worthy of big offers, after his spying mission to South Africa.
Wallaby Daniel Herbert was the priority, and the club was disappointed to miss out on his signature.
Edwards said Herbert’s decision to stay in union was made for the right reason, with money a secondary consideration.
Western Samoa and New Zealand Counties union player, Junior Paramore signed with the Hunter Mariners, Super League’s proposed Newcastle franchise.
Meanwhile, tough calls were being made in relation to young talent at the Broncos, with a number of players cut, among them Ron Troutman, Cameron Hurren, Matthew McCosker and Glenn Hauff. Andrew Walters, a brother of international twins, Kevin and Kerrod, also was shown the door.