HIS is one of the most unexpected sights of the league season, Ben Hannant becoming a pink polar bear for Ipswich.
Hannant, a Test and State of Origin veteran, will be given a free reign to offload and play what’s in front of him when he makes his Intrust Super Cup debut for the Jets on Saturday night.
The Jets are one of the most unique rugby league teams and stack their bench with two wingers who push the starting wingers into the backrow.
Hannant, who played a trial for the Jets in February, will be expected to blend in with the ball-movement frenzy co-coaches Ben and Shane Walker have found success with.
“When he played for us against Burleigh in a trial the boys were ultra-impressed with his professionalism,” Ben Walker said.
“We expect him to do the same on the weekend.
“His input and workload was outstanding for us. More importantly, he fit into our structure and we play with a free-flowing structure.
“His ability to offload really works for us and we give him a free reign to use it. The boys just can’t wait to play alongside him.”
Hannant’s appearance will significantly help the Jets’ raise money for the Kim Walters Choices Program, with the North Ipswich Reserve crowd expected to double because he is playing.
Jarrod Wallace is hoping Ben Hannant’s departure opens a door for him to stay with the Broncos. Source:News Limited
The big winner in the Ben Hannant saga is off-contract Broncos prop Jarrod Wallace.
Wallace’s young family depend on him making every second of his 27 minutes of playing time count each week.
Hannant’s unforeseen demotion to feeder club Ipswich has provided Wallace with a career-best opportunity to make a name for himself against the Cowboys.
The affable Norths product may only be playing just over a quarter of each game but it is a much better deal than his first two weeks when he was collecting splinters on the bench for 80 minutes.
At 22 years old, this is a crucial year for Wallace. With a daughter growing rapidly and another baby on the way, he is desperate to remain at the Broncos.
If he stands up to the Cowboys’ Test front-row of Matt Scott and James Tamou he may even attract interest from other clubs.
Lara Pitt and Supercoach guru Tom Sangster recommend players to buy, hold and sell for round nine of the NRL.
“This is my last year on my current contract. I just need to get on the field and do as much as I can,” Wallace said. “I need to impress everyone here.
“I want to get as much done on the field as I can. The Broncos have been a great club for me and my family and I debuted here.”
Wallace said while he would consider other clubs, his first priority was the Broncos so he and his partner could remain close to their support network.
“My little girl is growing so fast and is just so full of life and I have another kid coming,” Wallace said.
“They are popping out but it is working out awesome for me. I’m hoping I can stay at the Broncos. My family is at the Gold Coast and my partner’s family is in Brisbane.
“How close they all are means the kids can bond with their grandparents, which I think is important for their development.’’