Hodges' apprentice fast-tracks education
Every game now could be Justin Hodges' last so apprentice-in-waiting Jordan Kahu is drawing on as much knowledge as he can from the veteran centre before it is too late.
Kahu's education in fatherhood is due to start any day now with he and partner Jess expecting their first child but the Brisbane outside back also used the week off to absorb more insights from Hodges before the Broncos legend retires at the end of the season.
Kahu has twice played in the centres alongside Hodges this season and also played outside him on the wing and as he looks to secure the right centre position in 2016 is paying even greater attention to the intricacies in Hodges' game.
"He's been massive with my development and my game; he's helped me a lot," Kahu said.
"Obviously playing outside him for most of my games he's helped me a lot and I owe a lot to him for what he has done for me over the last couple of years.
"He sees things that other people don't see. He picks the ball up out of dummy-half like no one else can do, his calmness and the way he carries the ball, all that kind of stuff.
"I've just taken a little bit out of each little aspect of his game.
"He tells me when to drop back if he sees something early, telling me where to stand, just everything.
"He's on the money with that sort of stuff so I just listen to everything he says and just react off him."
In announcing his retirement a month ago Hodges spoke of his desire to allow the next generation of Broncos players to emerge with the club able to keep both Kahu and Alex Glenn in lieu of Hodges' departure.
Having filled in superbly for Darius Boyd at fullback at the start of the season and with a horror injury run behind him Kahu had a number of options elsewhere but said staying at the Broncos was always his first priority.
"It wasn't too difficult to be honest. I didn't deal with it too much, my manager sorted most of it out and I was really happy with how it all worked out," Kahu told NRL.com.
"Every player has options but for me it was just choosing the right one and staying here was the right one for me."
The Broncos host the Roosters in a Preliminary Final at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night with just 80 minutes of football now standing between them and a first grand final appearance in nine years.
It's tantalisingly close for a Broncos team given little hope of progressing this far at the start of the season but Kahu warned against the dangers of looking even one week ahead of their next assignment.
"You dream of winning those grand finals and we've obviously got a lot of hard work ahead of us and we can't be happy with what we've done so far," he said.
"You can't play a whole season well and not perform in the finals so we're going to have train real hard and stay together as a group and hopefully we can build on what we've done this year.
"[The Preliminary Final] is going to be the biggest game of my career so far. I'm looking forward to it after the year we've had and all the hard yards we've put on the park makes it quite rewarding to see us playing in those games.
"If we think about the grand final we won't worry about the game that's coming up.
"Everyone is thinking the same and we've got a lot of hard yards on the training paddock before we get to that big one."