This season has all been a bit of a dream for Kotoni Staggs.
After all, it’s not very often a kid from country NSW gets the chance to run around with the Brisbane Broncos each week.
Staggs was tipped to become an NRL star by many in his home town of Wellington when he signed a deal with the Broncos back in 2014.
He spent a further two years in his home town before moving north and announcing himself to those north of the border in the 2017 season.
His form in the under 20s then and in the Queensland Intrust Super Premiership saw him make his NRL debut in April of this year, and he look set to add to his three NRL caps on Sunday evening against the Gold Coast Titans.
“My dream was to play for the Broncos so I want to put on that jersey every week for my team and my family,” 19-year-old Staggs told the Broncos’ official website this week.
Staggs’ debut was one to remember as an injury to Tom Opacic saw him thrown into the game off the bench early and he dazzled under the bright lights of Suncorp Stadium, even managing to score a try in a win over the Sydney Roosters.
“It was a dream come true,” Staggs said of that moment.
“I didn’t think I’d get on there that quick but I did and I just knew I had to do my job.”
Staggs has been named on an extended bench for Sunday’s game and he is likely to earn a place in the final 17 as his side is missing a number of players due to State of Origin selection.
As well as that, Staggs showed his class when dropping back to the Intrust Super Premiershp last weekend and scoring another double for the Redcliffe Dolphins.
Lining up in the centres, he scored a double there and also booted seven goals from nine attempts in a convincing 50-10 win over Wynnum Manly Seagulls.
“The mindset is still the same as coming in here and training with the big boys,” he said after Broncos training.
“I still go to ‘Reddy’ (Redcliffe) with the same mindset and try and play the same game as I always do.”
In terms of his time training with the Broncos’ NRL squad, it’s someone who Staggs has plenty in common with who is helping him out.
A fellow centre and New South Welshman based in enemy territory, James Roberts has been on hand to passion plenty of tips to the former Group 11 under 18s premiership winner.
The Broncos take on the Titans from 4.30pm at Cbus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast on Sunday.
The Broncos are without Origin players Roberts, Andrew McCullough, Corey Oates and Josh McGuire.