AAP Rugby

Ex-Red Perese chance of NRL debut

By AAP Newswire

Rugby recruit Izaia Perese may make his NRL debut for Brisbane in Friday night's crunch clash with Penrith after being spotted training in the centres on Wednesday.

The former Queensland Red is believed to be in competition with Rhys Kennedy for a bench spot against the Panthers.

Perese, 22, has been named on an extended bench for the round 22 clash that eighth-placed Brisbane needs to win to remain in the finals mix.

But eyebrows were raised when Perese featured in the centres at Red Hill after barnstorming form for Queensland Cup side Redcliffe.

Perese leads the Queensland Cup in tackle breaks with 117 in just 15 games.

He has also scored seven tries in his last eight games to keep eighth-placed Redcliffe on track for finals football.

And it seems he may also play a hand in Brisbane's NRL top eight fortunes after impressing at training.

"I think he is ready (for NRL). He has been playing outstanding for Reddy," said Brisbane centre Kotoni Staggs.

"I think he would be ready in the next couple of weeks but we will see how Seibs (coach Anthony Seibold) feels about that."

After signing Perese in the pre-season, Brisbane had hoped to give the youngster a season in Queensland Cup to cut his teeth after 17 Super Rugby games for the Reds from 2016-18.

Certainly Perese found it hard going initially when he spent the pre-season training with the senior Broncos squad.

"It was tough - I pretty much was just holding the vomit down," Perese told the Broncos website.

However, Perese's NRL debut may come sooner rather than later after impressing in Wednesday's session.