Wayne Bennett Names Brisbane Halfback For 2018

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Wayne Bennett Names Brisbane Halfback For 2018

Photo: Getty Images

Coach Wayne Bennett says Kodi Nikorima will be the Brisbane halfback next year.

“He was under a lot of pressure last year to go to other clubs… but we convinced him to stay here,” Wayne Bennett told Triple M.

“We’ve always thought he had a long-term future here.

“Now with Ben [Hunt] making his decision to go… there’s no doubt Kodi will be the halfback next year.” Listen to the full audio below.

Nikorima, who has been used primarily as a bench utility and hooker by the Broncos, always considered himself a natural halfback.

Earlier On Triple M

Photo: Getty Images

Halfback Ben Hunt has been dropped from Brisbane's NRL clash with South Sydney on Friday night.

The star No.7 has been relegated to the second tier Queensland Cup in Ipswich this weekend after coach Wayne Bennett opted to start Kodi Nikorima at halfback.

Veteran Benji Marshall will be the Broncos' bench utility against the Rabbitohs at Suncorp Stadium.

Hunt will take up a lucrative St George Illawarra deal next year and appears to face an uphill battle to break back into the Broncos side again this season as Bennett plans for the future.

Bennett said Hunt had been dropped on form but admitted it was a "hard conversation" to have with his No.1 halfback.

"It was not an easy decision but it has been made," he said.

"It's on form. Benji and Kodi have been playing really well and (five-eighth) Anthony Milford has picked his game up.

"It came down to options and who was playing well. Ben's form hasn't been what I wanted."

Bennett said Hunt - just two weeks back from a hamstring injury - knew exactly what was required of him to break back into the side.

"We need him to run the ball more. That's part of the job description and he is one of the best ball runners in the game," he said.

Photo: Getty Images

Nikorima will combine with Queensland five-eighth Anthony Milford in the halves against the Rabbitohs.

He missed last week's 18-16 loss to Sydney Roosters due to a shoulder complaint.

Bennett said he was keen to keep former Kiwi captain Marshall who has impressed since signing a modest one-season Broncos deal this year.

"He wanted an opportunity and we gave him that," he aid.

"He is coming back to the Benji form of old.

"He is enjoying his footy again. He has been outstanding at the club.

"We are keen to keep him here. He's a valued player."

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