Gun Broncos rookie Thomas Dearden has been called up for a remarkable NRL debut as Kodi Nikorima weighs up his future with an offer from the Warriors.
Nikorima won't play in Thursday's mouthwatering clash with former coach Wayne Bennett and South Sydney, his own coach Anthony Seibold citing a calf injury and Nikorima's next career call behind the decision.
NRL.com understands that a lucrative three-and-a-half year deal tabled by the Warriors has Nikorima considering an immediate move across the Tasman.
But any shift remains contingent on Nikorima seeking, and Brisbane granting, a release from the last 18 months of his current contract.
"Kodi did a good job to prove himself fit for the match last weekend on a six-day turnaround and played well against the Sharks," Seibold told the Broncos website on Tuesday morning.
"He also has some decisions to ponder around his future, decisions that are not easy to sift through, and that may affect his family.
"So considering the tight turnaround between matches, we think it is best he does not play against the Rabbitohs on Thursday."
While Nikorima is signed to the Broncos until the end of 2020, the final year of his contract is an option in his favour.
Neither club has made an official comment on the 25-year-old's future.
Dearden, meanwhile, will debut in the most anticipated NRL game of the season, a telling endorsement of the esteem Brisbane hold him in.
The schoolboy star only joined Seibold's top grade squad in January and was upgraded to their top 30 when he turned 18 in March.
Dearden heads up an impressive cohort of young playmakers in the Broncos ranks, including former Rooster Sean O'Sullivan and junior rep guns Tanah Boyd and Cory Paix.
"Tom has been working with this squad since January and played three first grade trials for the Broncos in the pre-season," Seibold said.
"It will be an exciting night for him, and we are certain he is ready to play a role for the club."