NRL 2023: Selwyn Cobbo; Brisbane Broncos; All Star acting

A souped-up Selwyn Cobbo was heftily fined by the Broncos for his infamous podcast comments about Kevin Walters. Now he wants to get back at his coach for his indiscretion.

A beefed up Selwyn Cobbo is unveiled at Saturday’s All Stars exhibit as the Broncos flyer tries to put his Kevin Walters podcast slip behind him.

Cobbo was fined $10,000 by the Broncos – to be donated to charity – after defecting on a little-known podcast in New Zealand during the offseason.

In the explosive interview, Cobbo claimed Walters was a “good guy” but not a good coach and the Broncos made up a story that he suffered from fatigue last year to hide a personal issue.

Cobbo’s comments went down like a lead balloon at Red Hill, and Broncos CEO Dave Donaghy sanctioned him for violating media protocols.

Cobbo, 20, has since kept a low profile and has been banned from interviews as he tries to get his preparations on track for the 2023 NRL Premiership following the saga.

The Queensland Origin weapon will make his first appearance this year when he starts on the wing for the Indigenous team in his second All-Stars game.

And a new-look Cobbo will take the field alongside Kangaroo superstar Latrell Mitchell in Rotorua following a stunning pre-season transformation.

Cobbo has gone from 97kg last year to 103kg, breaking his gym records.

His bench press has gone from 105kg to 170kg and he is squatting 200kg compared to 110kg last year. It also records faster runtimes in the test.

Cobbo, a well-known tackle breaker, could be even more difficult to handle this season and his manager Tas Bartlett said the young savage has learned from his podcast mistakes.

“He’s over it and now he just wants to go out and play football and pay it back to the club and Kevvie,” he said.

“It was a bit immature for him, but he put it to bed and it’s his. He wants to start the season.

“He wants his best and worst games to be closer together. That comes with maturity and experience. You only get that if you play multiple seasons.

“He wasn’t really a first year early last year and by the end of the year he had played Origin and for the Prime Minister’s XIII. He had a big year that nobody really expected.

“He needs to back that up more consistently and be in games more every week.”

After making seven NRL games in his debut 2021 season, Cobbo broke out of the blocks last year with a stunning start to 2022.

He scored 12 tries in eight games during a mid-year purple patch to make a Maroons Origin debut and started in all three games before suffering a severe concussion in the opening minutes of the famous decider.

Cobbo spent a month on the sidelines after the headbutt and missed more footy later in the season as he struggled to regain his early-season form.

But he’s committed to producing a more consistent season for the Broncos in 2023, and early signs are positive.

“He’s maturing a little bit and it’s his second pre-season,” Bartlett said.

“He’s always had a bit of a blank canvas about him. He came from Cherbourg into the Covid-riddled under-20s system and whatever wins he made he lost.

“He came to Kevvie’s side in 2021 with no pre-season. The second preseason was always the making of him.

“He’s got more on his mind. As he gets into his third and fourth preseasons, we’ll start to see a finished product. He’ll look like a pretty creepy specimen bringing the ball back this year.

“The next step for any NRL player is to bring consistency to their game.

“He came off the blocks in the first three months last year and ran incredible. In the middle of the year he was probably looking for the finish line and needed a break.

“He’s gone back into another pre-season so hopefully his body can go longer into this season.”

Cobbo enjoyed spending time with Mitchell for the first time at All Stars Camp.

He’s earned comparisons to the Rabbitohs superstar and wants to emulate Mitchell and play full-back long-term for a potential showdown with the new Broncos No. Prepare 1 Reece Walsh.

“He wants to play there in the long term,” Bartlett said.

“Right now he is happy to be in the team and on the wing. He’s happy to bid his time, but once he has a few more pre-seasons under his belt he would love to work as a full-back.

“The All-Stars coach (Ron Griffiths) has hinted he could get a little run at full-back, which would be interesting to see.

“He did well there last year when Kevvie stabbed him in the back after an injury. They could see what he could bring as he becomes a permanent full-back in the years to come.

“Eventually he’ll get there, it’s just going to be a matter of when the timing is right.”

Originally released as NRL 2023: Selwyn Cobbo has massed and is ready to pay back coach Kevin Walters NRL 2023: Selwyn Cobbo; Brisbane Broncos; All Star acting

Ryan Sederquist

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