AAP Rugby

Broncos NRL great defends coach Seibold

By AAP Newswire

Brisbane great Chris Johns has backed besieged coach Anthony Seibold, despite the Broncos' embarrassing NRL finals exit, and called for an end to the whingeing as the club rebuilds.

After former captain Kevin Walters and premiership player Glenn Lazarus took aim at Seibold, Johns - once Seibold's harshest critic - asked for cool heads as Brisbane prepare for what he believed would be an off-season "reconstruction" of the former glamour club.

It is a dramatic turnaround for Johns who initially slammed Seibold's appointment as Brisbane coach after good mate Walters was overlooked, dismissing the ex-South Sydney mentor as "unproven" and claiming the Rabbitohs "choked" last year under his reign.

However, Johns now believes the Broncos faithful must stick solid if the six-time premiership club is to rebound from the record 58-0 elimination final loss to Parramatta.

"I was bitterly disappointed (by the result) but I don't feel it is productive to hurl stones," Johns told AAP.

"They have a big job ahead of them and it has just been highlighted by the result on the weekend.

"This isn't a band-aid job, this is a full on reconstruction."

Seibold will head a full club off-season review with Broncos CEO Paul White saying player roster changes may be announced in the coming weeks.

Brisbane have denied speculation that Darius Boyd will step down as captain but reports claim veteran hooker Andrew McCullough may be moved on and Anthony Milford is on borrowed time.

Johns did not give Seibold's first year at Red Hill a pass mark but said it was time to back the coach as he tried to spark a revival.

"No, I wouldn't give them a pass mark. The season is about the end result," he said.

"Everyone was talking about them being a top-four team, obviously that didn't work out.

"But he (Seibold) is there now. It's time for him to do his job.

"Now it is time to start fixing things, not whinge about what happened before and they say it is always darkest before the dawn."

Johns's comments were in stark contrast to dual Broncos premiership winner Lazarus, who lay the blame squarely on Seibold.

"I don't think Seibold takes as much responsibility as he should," Lazarus told Macquarie Sports Radio.

"It's the coach's responsibility to get them up for that game and he just did not do that and, as a result, they embarrassed themselves."

Walters also took a swipe, saying Seibold's decision to switch Milford from five-eighth to fullback mid-season sparked Brisbane's 2019 decline.

"He's a five-eighth every day of the week for mine," he told Sky Sports Radio.

"For them to pull him out of that position, I think that was the start of their downfall."