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Depleted Broncos share a pack mentality

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Broncos coach Anthony Seibold is seen leaving a closed Brisbane Broncos training session at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Thursday, March 19, 2020. (AAP Image/Darren England)

Brisbane's biggest bruisers are sidelined but mild-mannered co-captain Patrick Carrigan is confident his forwards can still mix it with South Sydney.

Matt Lodge and Alex Glenn, yet to run out after replacing Darius Boyd as skipper in the off-season, are among the injured list while Joe Ofahengaue and Tevita Pangai are suspended.

It leaves the Broncos exposed, debuting 20-year-old Ethan Bullemor against a Rabbitohs side that they'll meet in an empty Suncorp Stadium as the NRL pushes ahead despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Carrigan became the most inexperienced NRL captain when he shared the duties with club debutant Brodie Croft in just his 20th game last week.

But the pair handled the pressure of a full house in Townsville as they upset North Queensland in the first game played at Queensland Country Bank Stadium.

This week has thrown up its own unique challenges but the 22-year-old physiotherapy student is taking it all in his stride.

"I don't think we have to have an enforcer as such, it's probably a label that everyone else gives someone when they play aggressively," he said.

"As a pack we like to mix it and everyone is capable of providing that.

"No one person is burdening that load."

Carrigan admits it will be odd playing in an empty stadium, particularly against a side coached by former Brisbane mentor Wayne Bennett.

But he expects the hostilities will remain even if there's nobody there to see it.

"There's been talk about them without Sam (Burgess), about how they can handle it as a forward pack," he said.

"But they're world-class when you look at it on paper.

"Even though whatever's happening at the moment (concerning the virus) it doesn't change the past or what's happened between the clubs in the last 24 months.

"So once the ball gets kicked off we'll all get into it like usual."

He said the squad had experienced a relatively normal week considering the unique circumstances that have come with the developing threat of the coronavirus.

"You can understand there are some concerns around health and safety but at the moment with the advice we've been given it's alright to continue, so we're happy," he said.

"Once that ball gets kicked off I don't think too many people will be worried about hand sanitiser.

© AAP 2020