The Brisbane Broncos are set to hand Kurt Falls an NRL lifeline with few guarantees ahead of the 2024 campaign.
Falls has played his entire career to this point with the Penrith Panthers and their NSW Cup team. Since playing his first reserve grade game in 2019, he has made 58 appearances at that level, to go with three appearances for the Panthers` first-grade side, all of them coming in 2022.
2023 saw him relegated by Jack Cogger in the pecking order to be the backup option at the foot of the mountains, and while he has held his own at reserve grade level, 2024 was set to see him continue to be behind backup options, with Daine Laurie arriving from the Wests Tigers, and Brad Schneider from the Canberra Raiders via England.
It has seen him pack up and exit the Panthers, joining the Wynnum Manly Seagulls in the QLD Cup where he will attempt a different path into the NRL.
According to News Corp, that move to Wynnum has already paid some dividends, with the Brisbane Broncos offering him a train and trial deal for the pre-season.
It means Falls will have a chance to train with the NRL squad and impress coach Kevin Walters, who could then offer him a contract for the season.
That said, he will be well down the pecking order at Brisbane too. Adam Reynolds and Ezra Mam are the starting halves, with Jock Madden the next cab off the rank, while Josh Rogers – another player who was late to make his first-grade debut which he did in Round 27 this year – has also reportedly been upgraded to a Top 30 deal.
It could leave Falls playing QLD Cup for most of the year, however, the Broncos could be heading into a period of change. There is no guarantee Adam Reynolds will play on beyond the end of 2024, while Mam is yet to re-sign with the club.
Despite suggesting publically he wants to be a Bronco long-term, the five-eighth not re-signing prior to the November 1 deadline will raise eyebrows over his future with the St George Illawarra Dragons and Canberra Raiders likely to be among the clubs who will make a play for him.