The Brisbane Broncos have announced the signing of Martin Taupau on a one-year deal after the veteran became a free agent at the end of last season.
He will provide some much-needed experience and depth in the front-row rotation for Kevin Walter’s side, accompanying the likes of Payne Haas, Patrick Carrigan and Tom Flegler in the engine room.
Former Manly prop Martin Taupau signs with the Broncos
After 222 NRL games and three clubs, Taupau will be putting on a new jersey in 2023.
His move to the Broncos could potentially be one of the last of his career, but Brisbane coach Kevin Walters believes he still has the ability and attitude required to make an impact.
“Marty has been playing in the NRL since 2010 so he brings good experience and he was very impressive when we spoke to him on the values he brings to our club,” Walters said.
“We have a lot of good young middle forwards here at the Broncos and we believe the experience that Marty brings will help them grow and be better players for us as well.
“He has a real presence about him and I think that will really add to the group and what we are building here at the club both on and off the field.”
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Parramatta were at one stage viewed as being in the box seat for signing the Samoan international after narrowly missing out on his signature at the backend of last year.
Taupau’s exit from the Sea Eagles was only scuppered at the last minute by Des Hasler refusing to release him, according to the player himself.
“It’s always the what-if, but it is sad because it could have been a possibility that I was playing tomorrow night,” Taupau told the Herald Sun before last season’s grand final between the Eels and Penrith.
“It was only a reality for a small amount of time, but that window of opportunity was closed by Manly.
“I could have asked for a release via text message or phone call, but that’s not who I am. I went on two occasions to ask Des for a release. Unfortunately, it wasn’t granted.”
Why have Brisbane signed Martin Taupau?
After remaining unsigned since his seven-year spell with the Sea Eagles came to an end, Taupau fell victim to the unresolved nature of this season’s salary cap.
However, Brisbane have now acted to bring the 33-year-old to Red Hill where he will be expected to act as a leader within their young forward pack.
Despite no longer being one of the best big men in the game, Taupau still offers plenty having averaged close to 100 running metres during his limited time on the pitch in 2022.
His work rate is also impressive, having made close to 20 tackles per match to go along with his ability to make the tough carries coming out of danger.