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Lockyer confirms Broncos deal for Croft


Brisbane director Darren Lockyer has confirmed out-of-favour Melbourne halfback Brodie Croft has signed with the Broncos on a three-year NRL deal.

Croft has long been linked with a move to the Broncos after being overlooked for the Storm's finals run this season, with Brisbane coach Anthony Seibold spotted speaking with the playmaker in Sydney in September.

"It's signed, sealed and delivered - Brodie is coming for three years and I think he's going to be a great addition to the squad," Lockyer told Nine Network.

Seibold had been searching for a playmaker after the Broncos crashed out of the NRL finals with a humiliating 58-0 loss to Parramatta using regular No.1 Darius Boyd at five-eighth and hooker Jake Turpin at No.7.

It is believed Croft will be the first choice halfback and young gun Tom Dearden his understudy with incumbent fullback Anthony Milford tipped to switch back to pivot in 2020.

"I think whether five-eighth or fullback with Milf, having someone like Brodie who can organise, which just comes natural to him, it allows someone like Milf to free him up and just go and play footy, which is what he does best," Lockyer said.

"Again, I think he's a great addition to the squad because he's the sort of player we need."

Speculation was rife Croft's move to Red Hill was imminent after Gold Coast playmaker Ryley Jacks was spotted at Melbourne pre-season training as a potential replacement for the Storm No.7.

Jacks, who made his NRL debut with Melbourne in 2017 before shifting to the Titans last season, has been handed a train-and-trial deal with the Storm.

The 18-year-old Dearden impressed in his five NRL games in his debut year before being struck down by an ankle injury, but is seen as a long-term halfback prospect by Brisbane.

"We've got big things (planned) with Tom Dearden," Lockyer said.

"He's only 18, he's still learning. He'll be part of the mix there as well and he's another option.

"He's a good kid with a great attitude, so he'll be around the place."

© AAP 2019