He's been waiting five years to make the Broncos' No.7 jersey his own but Brisbane halfback Ben Hunt says that he will be happy to start the season at five-eighth in order to solve the problematic halves pairing.
Jordan Kahu and Zach Strasser had been vying to wear the famous No.6 jersey but a serious knee injury to Kahu and an underwhelming showing from Strasser in a trial against the Cowboys two weeks ago left coach Anthony Griffin searching for solutions.
Prized recruit Ben Barba has been touted as a possible solution but the sparking performances of young Kodi Nikorima in the trial and throughout the Auckland Nines is quickly elevating his chances of making his NRL debut against the Bulldogs in Round 1.
Although not due to turn 20 until April 3 – and thus eligible for another season in the Holden Cup – the way Nikorima has handled the step up in class has impressed many, including Hunt.
"Yeah definitely, I'd be happy to play with him," Hunt said when asked if he'd be prepared to play five-eighth. "We've got a few options at the club and I'd be happy with any of them but Kodi has really shown what he can do and I think he's really putting his hand up to say that he can play there.
"He's a real talent Kodi, very zippy, good on his feet and got a good short kicking game. He's really turning it on for us, keeping us in the comp I think," Hunt said as the Broncos qualified for the Auckland Nines semi-finals.
Settling on a halves combination remains Griffin's most pressing issue as the Broncos finalise their preparations with a trial against the Warriors in Dunedin on Saturday afternoon.
When Kahu was left clutching at his knee in the dying seconds of the trial against North Queensland initial fears were that he had ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament for a third time in four years but subsequent scans showed that it was a torn medial cruciate ligament injury. He is due to have surgery within the next week and from there it is an expected eight-week recovery period before he can take his place in the side.