Kodi Nikorima knows he has to speak up. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)
Kodi Nikorima knows he has to speak up. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

Nikorima ready to call the shots

RUGBY LEAGUE: Kodi Nikorima has found his voice. The long-time Broncos utility will officially be crowned the club's halfback this season, following the departure of Ben Hunt to the Dragons.

It has been a move Nikorima has hoped to make for a long time, after years of being Brisbane's Mr Fix-It.

But, before he takes on the job on the big stage, the New Zealand international has had to overhaul his communication skills.

Nikorima says he is ready to take on the "pressure position" of halfback, but knew his talking on the field was one of his weak points in 2017.

"I was a bit quiet last year and let Anthony Milford, Andrew McCullough and Darius Boyd dictate most things," he said.

"While I was away with the World Cup and I got the opportunity to play in the halves then, I thought to myself, 'this is where I want to be'.

"I wanted to come back here and nail down the spot long-term.

"(Talking) is one thing that I've been working really hard on throughout the pre-season.

"I spoke to Wayne (Bennett) and that's why he's got me doing drills at the end just with the forwards, talking to them.

"I've really come out and I'm doing a lot more talking than I used to. All in all, I'm really enjoying the role."

Nikorima talks it through with Wayne Bennett. (Peter Wallis)
Nikorima talks it through with Wayne Bennett. (Peter Wallis)

Nikorima is hoping to put his skills in the No.7 jersey to the test in Brisbane's two main trials against the Titans on February 17 and the PNG Hunters on February 24.

He will be without halves partner Anthony Milford however until at least Round 1, as the five-eighth continues his comeback from a shoulder reconstruction.

But Nikorima said that he is not concerned about their partnership, especially now the duo are under the guidance of halves coach Kevin Walters.

Walters, who helped lead Milford and Hunt to the 2015 grand final, returned to the club over the pre-season and has had an immediate impact.

"He's just simplified everything really," Nikorima said.

"Me and Milf sometimes tend to go a little crazy but he's brought that calmness to our game. He brings a lot of energy and fun to our training."

The Broncos' first trial will be held on Saturday against the CQ Capras in Theodore, with most of the club's second-string players expected to take part.


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