James Roberts leads Jack Bird at training session. (AAP Image/Jono Searle)
James Roberts leads Jack Bird at training session. (AAP Image/Jono Searle)

Broncos blueprint to blow Storm away

NEW Broncos centre strike force James Roberts and Jack Bird will be unleashed on Melbourne under coach Anthony Seibold's tactical plan to blow the Storm off the park in Thursday night's NRL season-opener.

Broncos coach Seibold has instructed his playmaking spine to feed early ball to Roberts and Bird in a threequarter blitz to break Brisbane's dismal record against Craig Bellamy's Storm.

Former Storm assistant coach Seibold returns to Melbourne mindful the Broncos have won just four of their past 26 clashes since Brisbane's stunning upset of Bellamy's troops in the 2006 grand final.

Now Seibold is plotting another boilover by turning to his freshly-formed centre alliance Roberts and Bird to put the cleaners through Storm three-quarter rivals Will Chambers and Curtis Scott.

Nicknamed "The Jet", NSW Origin flyer Roberts is one of the fastest players in the code, while Bird has lost 7kg and is primed to return to the lethal attacker who won a premiership in the centres at Cronulla in 2016.

Seibold's former South Sydney team were renowned for their quick ball movement last season, and Broncos skipper Darius Boyd said the message from the NRL's reigning coach of the year is clear - get Roberts and Bird into the action.

Jack Bird is primed to return to the lethal attacker who won a premiership in the centres at Cronulla in 2016. Picture: AAP image, John Gass
Jack Bird is primed to return to the lethal attacker who won a premiership in the centres at Cronulla in 2016. Picture: AAP image, John Gass

"We have so much strike all over the field so we want to get the ball in their hands," Boyd said ahead of Thursday night's blockbuster at AAMI Park.

"We have put a lot more structure around that and trying to get our centres the ball and our wingers in particular.

"We definitely want to use the football, that's for sure. We have so much attacking brilliance, so we need to use our centres and wingers and make sure we are capitalising on the work our forwards do."

Roberts has bulked up to 96kg, adding two kilograms over summer, and will attack Melbourne's left edge featuring NSW Origin wing teammate Josh Addo-Carr, who has added an impressive 8kg in pre-season.

Brisbane Broncos player James Roberts has bulked up in the off-season. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Peled
Brisbane Broncos player James Roberts has bulked up in the off-season. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Peled

Roberts has scored 36 tries in 73 games for the Broncos, and has a warning for the Storm - he can be a more formidable attacking threat under Seibold's blueprint for success.

"I'm really excited about our game plan this year," he said.

"`Seibs' has definitely refreshed the group and his ideas have helped me, too. I'm feeling good.

"It's been a long pre-season but I'm feeling fresh with Seibs and the new ideas he has brought to the club and the way he wants to use me this year."

Boyd said the Broncos would tonight field one of the fastest teams he had seen in his 13-year NRL career.

Coach Anthony Seibold chats to his players during a Brisbane Broncos training session ahead of the round one match against the Storm. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images
Coach Anthony Seibold chats to his players during a Brisbane Broncos training session ahead of the round one match against the Storm. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

"I've definitely noticed the speed of the team," he said.

"I'm not sure if that comes with the youth of the side, but our forwards are running quick speeds as well.

"There's strike all over the park and if we can use some of the things Seibs has implemented with the way we want to play, we will be a really hard team to beat.

"It's not just guys like Jimmy Roberts, Jamayne Isaako and Jack Bird, we have guys in the middle who move well and can do some damage."