Seibold defends Brisbane's team culture

Brisbane coach Anthony Seibold has defended his NRL club's culture after a controversial off-season.
Brisbane coach Anthony Seibold has defended his NRL club's culture after a controversial off-season.

After a controversy-plagued pre-season, Brisbane coach Anthony Seibold has defended his NRL club's culture, saying "we don't expect people to be perfect".

Seibold came out on the front foot on Thursday, facing the media following the Broncos' decision to stand down young speedster Izaia Perese after he was charged with drug offences.

It wasn't the first drama that had embroiled Brisbane in the pre-season.

Queensland X-factor David Fifita spent three days in a Bali police cell last November for allegedly assaulting a security guard outside a nightclub but later escaped sanction by the NRL integrity unit due to inconclusive evidence.

And fellow Maroons forward Joe Ofahengaue was fined and disqualified from driving for three months after being charged with being in control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol when he was found asleep in his car.

But Seibold firmly believed his squad were a "good group of guys" and the off-field incidents would not be a distraction ahead of the 2020 NRL season.

"There have been some minor incidents. With players this age they are in some ways going to be a representation of society," he said.

"We are not perfect and we don't expect people to be perfect. (But) I know there is a good group of guys there.

"Everyone has made mistakes at some stage including myself. You learn from them and move on.

"(And) there is a lot of scrutiny when you are an NRL player and any mistakes are magnified in some way."

Seibold said he was proud of the way his club had handled the latest Perese controversy.

"We have stood him down. We have provided welfare for Izzy and his family. He needs to focus on his court case and we have been really strong about that," he said.

"We don't cover anything up here. We deal with it and we deal with it openly and quickly.

"I am really proud of the way we have dealt with the Izzy Perese situation.

"I'm sure that will be other hurdles and challenges presented and we will deal with them the best we can."

Seibold said a team dinner on Tuesday had ensured the Broncos were in the right head space for 2020.

"The group is up and about. One thing I have noticed with the group is that there have been a few challenges thrown their way over the last couple of months but they have handled it well," he said.

Australian Associated Press