Brisbane boss Paul White hopes a club-imposed, four-game suspension will only disadvantage Payne Haas, not the Broncos' title hopes, as he backs other young forwards to step up.
Chasing their first premiership since 2006, the Broncos face a torrid season start against heavyweights Melbourne, North Queensland, St George Illawarra and Sydney Roosters without their 194cm, 119kg wrecking ball Haas.
The teenage prop will miss those matches and pay a $20,000 fine after the club ruled his co-operation with the NRL's integrity unit over two family-related incidents last year fell short of expectations.
One of the game rising stars, Haas had been pushing for a starting berth under new coach Anthony Seibold this season.
His absence for the first month opens the door for fellow youngsters Patrick Carrigan, Thomas Flegler as well as veteran recruit Shaun Fensom.
All three will play in Saturday's trial against Queensland Cup side Wynnum Manly on Saturday, while Haas was named to play before being scratched on Wednesday.
"Fair to say we'd love to have our full complement of players available but I guess we've taken a long-term view," White said.
"You've seen the young forwards we've got coming through the system.
"We've recruited and developed some wonderful young talent and you'll see on Saturday night other players put up their hand.
"We'd hope it doesn't have an impact on our chance for premiership success."
White said the vibe under Seibold had given them a quiet confidence despite the obvious weight of expectation.
"There's a real energy in the organisation, real anticipation, but the starter's gun hasn't gone off and we've got to deliver," he said.
"It's great energy, but everyone feels the weight of expectation and pressure associated with that.
"But in my view that's a good thing."
Australian Associated Press