Glenn backs Nikorima for Kiwis
Brisbane Broncos second-row forward Alex Glenn believes New Zealand and club teammate Kodi Nikorima is primed to take the Kiwis' No.7 jersey following the news that Shaun Johnson is in doubt for the Rugby League World Cup.
Johnson ruptured the PCL in his left knee when supporting a break in the Warriors' 34-22 Round 19 loss to the Penrith Panthers.
It was first feared Johnson had done an ACL and that would have meant six months on the sidelines, but thankfully scans revealed a much better outcome with PCL injuries usually taking only six to eight weeks to repair without surgical intervention.
With New Zealand's first World Cup game on October 28 against Samoa at Mt Smart Stadium, it will be up to Kiwis coach David Kidwell and his support staff to decide if Johnson is fit enough to start in what would be his first game in over three months.
If deemed unfit to play, Nikorima would likely be next in line to start at halfback, and Glenn has backed his fellow Kiwi to do the job.
"I believe Kodi can definitely fill that position," Glenn said.
"You look at the quality of him. When [Ben] Hunt was out for those seven weeks he stepped up.
"He was getting man of the match for us so he has that ability and the confidence behind him. We have no doubt that he would do the job if he gets put in."
Nikorima officially re-signed with the Broncos on Monday and he is viewed as the club's long-term halfback with Hunt set to depart the club at season's end.
Brother of Sydney Rooster Jayden, Nikorima put in a perfect audition for the Broncos' halfback role earlier in the year, winning six from six matches when wearing the No.7 jersey in place of the injured Hunt.
Following his re-signing, Nikorima will be at the club until at least the end of 2020 with this extended timeline giving him plenty of opportunity to hone his craft in the halves and experience more games of Test football.
The 23-year-old has already played five games for the Kiwis, starting at halfback twice against England for one win and one loss.
Bench utility in this year's ANZAC Test Match, Nikorima has a serious chance of reclaiming his starting position in Kidwell's side if he finishes the year well with the Broncos.
"Without thinking too far ahead, I just want to play good footy here [at the Broncos] and if I do that then I'll have every opportunity to get selected at the end of the year," Nikorima said.
"If need be, I'll definitely put my hand up [to start for the Kiwis], but for now I just want to put my focus solely on the Brisbane Broncos."