Reed all about it: Jack is back for the Broncos
Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett says he is delighted to have Jack Reed back in action against the Warriors who will be on a seek-and-destroy mission at Suncorp Stadium tonight.
Reed has been passed fit to return earlier than anticipated from off-season shoulder surgery and Bennett had no hesitation naming him in the centres for the heavyweight clash against a Warriors side reeling from criticism after their first-up loss to the Wests Tigers.
The England international, who doesn't always get the kudos he deserves because of the quality of his teammates, won Bennett over with his performance in last year's 17-16 grand final loss to the Cowboys.
"I love Jack, I love what he brings to the team," Bennett said, after also confirming Jordan Kahu had made a miraculous recovery from a minor quad tear to force his way back into the side on the wing at the expense of Englishman Greg Eden.
Bennett said he was impressed by Reed's commitment to his rehab, which is why he is ready to return just five months after major shoulder surgery.
The news was all good at Red Hill, with flying centre James Roberts also cleared to play after being in some doubt with a corked quad.
Bennett dismissed suggestions he was taking a gamble with Kahu.
"He's free of pain, has full movement, he can change direction and stop and start, so we're not rushing him back," he said. "As far as our medical staff is concerned he has recovered fully from the injury."
To many onlookers the Warriors are difficult to follow - unpredictable, brilliant one day, horrible the next. But to Bennett they're a very good football team.
"They're not a mystery," he said. "They're physical, skilful, talented."
Meanwhile, Bennett said fans needed to be patient with new super signing Roberts and give him time to find his feet.
"It's going to take time guys," he said. "You saw Adam Blair last year, you wrote all about him, you wrote all about Anthony Milford, now you can't write enough good things about them.
"Just be patient."
Bennett's assistant and New Zealand coach Stephen Kearney warned the Warriors would hit back hard tonight.
"The panic button has been hit a bit too prematurely there," Kearney told Radio Sport after the attacks on the Warriors following their shock 34-26 round-one loss.
"I know the calibre of the players in the Warriors team and I expect nothing short of their best performance this weekend."