DeVere confirmed, shadows Hodges

Michael DeVere Broncos ComebackMichael De Vere’s comeback is now official, after the National Rugby League greenlighted his return for the Broncos.

Having now been in the wilderness for 2 years – the former Australian centre at 32 years of age will help guide the Broncos into a new era.

This will be DeVere’s 10th run on season for the Broncos and will no doubt prove a valuable asset to new coach Ivan Henjack. A noted fitness devotee, Brisbane are reportedly more than happy with his current state and believe he will form a crucial utility role for them in the outside backs.

Brisbane first had to get things past NRL salary cap boss Ian Schubert, De Vere was working in a coaching position with Easts Carina before discussing a possible return to the NRL with his old club.

A Campbelltown NSW juniors, DeVere kicked off his NRL career in 1996 after writing a letter to Wayne Bennett as an unknown kid wanting a shot at the big time. The former NSw centre is a veteran of 170 first grade games at the top level.

It has been 4 years since DeVere played locally, having spent time in the UK Super League before calling it quits.

Departing Brisbane in 2004 – DeVere left his mark on Red Hill, becoming the clubs highest point scorer with 1,082 points from 64 tries and 413 goals, however this accolade has now been eclipsed by current club captain Darren Lockyer a veteran of over 300 NRL games.

Having achieved 3 premierships during his career in 1997, 1998 and 2000 – many classed DeVere as one of the best defensive centres of his time. An ability that saw him thrust into the NSW Origin side against many of his Brisbane teammates.

Notching up 5 State of Origins in total, DeVere also scored 4 Kangaroos Jerseys.

His eventual retirement from the English Super League came after injuries hampered his final few years, his side Huddersfield having lost the Challenge Cup Final 42-12 to St Helens in 2006.

After rejoining the Broncos coaching ranks last year, De Vere said assisting with Easts Carina had stirred up his passion for the game – putting the wheels in motion for his eventual return.

While Brisbane have Israel Folau in 2009, along with test centre Justin Hodges – the volatile Hodges has been on extended leave and continues to worry the club. Hodges remains a leading centre in the game, but his mental state has again troubled him – something that eventually forced him away from the Roosters and back to Brisbane.

The comeback of DeVere provides the Broncos with a ready made replacement should Hodges implode at any stage of the 2009 season.

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