Lockyer's grim verdict on Dearden's future

1 week ago 9
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Tom Dearden signed with the Cowboys successful the anticipation he'd beryllium wearing the No.7 jersey for seasons to come, truthful helium won't privation to perceive to Darren Lockyer's sentiment connected wherever the young halfback fits successful adjacent year.

Dearden was granted an contiguous merchandise from the Broncos successful April aft North Queensland manager Todd Payten was blessed for Jake Clifford to expedite his determination to Newcastle, who had signed the five-eighth to a two-year woody starting successful 2022.

Payten besides had to capable the monolithic spread near by the forced status of Cowboys fable Michael Morgan. It was the cleanable script for Dearden, who had struggled for crippled clip successful the halves successful Brisbane.

Tom Dearden of the Cowboys runs the shot against the Cronulla Sharks. (Getty)

But wrong weeks of Dearden's determination north, the Cowboys ramped up their recruitment and lured seasoned Cronulla halfback Chad Townsend to Townsville connected a three-year contract, followed by the re-signing of five-eighth Scott Drinkwater.

The logjam amongst the playmakers has created a dilemma for the Cowboys.

Dearden has the remainder of this play to beryllium he's the antheral to commencement astatine halfback earlier Townsend joins the nine adjacent season, but astatine this signifier - according to Lockyer - he's 3rd successful the halves pecking bid for 2022.

"We ever speech astir halves that complement each other... so if we're moving disconnected that, astatine the infinitesimal it's Townsend and Drinkwater and Dearden is conscionable a young pup earning his stripes," Lockyer told Wide World of Sports' QLDER.

"It's been the conundrum ever since they signed Townsend and Dearden." 

Another Broncos legend, Sam Thaiday, backed up Lockyer, believing the Cowboys would beryllium champion to spell with Townsend - a reliable halfback who is closing successful connected 200 NRL games - successful beforehand of the 20-year-old Dearden.

"I hold with Locky," said Thaiday.

"I emotion Townsend and Drinkwater together. I deliberation Drinkwater is simply a fantastic five-eighth, and Tommy is inactive earning his stripes arsenic a archetypal grader."

The make-up of the Cowboys' spine is up for further statement fixed the awesome show astatine fullback past Saturday of Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow.

Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow (Getty)

The 19-year-old was deputising for the injured Valentine Holmes and his blistering velocity chopped up the Roosters connected galore occasions.

So could 'The Hammer' nail down the No.1 jersey adjacent erstwhile Holmes is acceptable again?

"I similar fullbacks that tin walk and enactment their extracurricular men into amended positions and make abstraction for them," said Lockyer.

"His velocity makes him effectual astatine fullback. (And) Val is simply a bully fullback astatine NRL level. Hammer played successful the centres for Origin and did a large occupation and I deliberation that's wherever you persist with him.

"And Queensland request centres!"

The Cowboys look good stocked astatine hooker, with the versatile Reece Robson successful outstanding signifier and seasoned Jake Granville, who past period re-signed for 2022, adding a spot of spark disconnected the bench.

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