Broncos star Tevita Panga Jr became emotional when asked directly about the club’s decision to offer him to rival teams.
The Broncos released a statement on Thursday night during their 46-0 thumping at the hands of South Sydney, confirming Pangai is free to talk with other clubs, despite remaining under contract until the end of the 2022 season.
It came after a report the unreliable powerhouse is expected to join the Wests Tigers in the middle of the 2021 season.
Stream selected Fox League shows on Kayo Freebies completely free this June including NRL 360, Sunday Night with Matty Johns, Big League Wrap & more. No Credit Card. No Brainer. Register Free Now >
Pangai Jr and Jamayne Isaako were busted speaking to Tigers coach Michael Maguire earlier this year, but all parties denied a deal was being negotiated.
Fast forward less than two months and Pangai now admits he may have played his last game for the club.
“They got me in on my day off and told me I’m free to look elsewhere,” he said.
“Players are going to be held accountable for the results we’ve been tossing up, so, if that’s me then I’ll have to look elsewhere. Gotta just take it day by day and week by week and see where my future is.
“I’d like to have my future sorted in the next three weeks.”
When asked about what his next move will be the hulking forward looked emotional and awkward. His move is expected to be sorted before the August recruitment deadline.
“I haven’t thought about that,” he said.
“I thought I was under contract, but contracts don’t mean much these days. So I just have to cop it on the chin and get my manager to do his job.”
Coach Kevin Walters also addressed the issue in his post-match press conference.
“We have to restructure our roster. That’s what we have to do. Not everyone can stay,” he said.
“The salary cap certainly comes into play with it all. We came up with a decision — and there’ll be more decisions as well — because clearly we’re not in a good place at the moment, and things need to change.
“Everyone is under review, including myself. We’ve got to have a really good look at all of ourselves, which we’ve already done. There’s a plan there, but we all just have to have a good look at ourselves and where we’re at. While there were some things that didn’t go our way tonight, that’s not the Broncos.”
Reports earlier claimed Pangai’s expected departure is the start of a Broncos’ “fire sale”.
Matt Lodge, Corey Oates and Isaako and Anthony Milford all have uncertain futures at the club with a series of reports they are not wanted.
The Broncos have already landed Adam Reynolds and retained Kotoni Staggs with the pair to form an explosive halves combination next year.
However, the club has also lost Reece Walsh and Tom Dearden, while Xavier Coates will move to the Storm next year. It has been a year from hell after the club last year lost David Fifita and had earlier failed to hold onto Roosters talent Sam Walker.
It is still going to get worse before it gets better.
Broncos CEO Dave Donaghy admitted in the statement the Pangai case has been messy.
“Given our position, we are reviewing our roster and sometimes that involves some challenging discussions,” he said.
“In saying that, our discussions with Tevita have been open, honest and respectful.
“In an ideal world, these calls would be made post-season, but free agency in the NRL does not enable that.”
Originally published as Sad interview shows Broncos are broken