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August 13, 2014 11:42:37 UK
Justin Hodges is on course to return for Brisbane Broncos in their must-win clash with South Sydney on Thursday.
The Test centre came through training on Wednesday and has told coach Anthony Griffin he is keen to play against the in-form Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium, where Brisbane are 3.20.
Defeat would spell the end of the Broncos’ slim finals hopes, and Griffin seems set to give Hodges the chance to return following a hamstring injury.
If he is passed fit, Brisbane are likely to push leading tryscorer Dale Copley to the right wing with Lachlan Maranta dropping to the interchange bench.
Griffin said of Hodges: “He got through that (training session) all right, we’ll probably know more with him tomorrow.
“He is old ‘Hodgo’, so you have to make sure he pulls up all right. He’s really close, he wants to play so we’ll see what happens there.”
Though the Rabbitohs, who are 1.90 conceding an eight-point start, are eight places higher than Brisbane, in second spot, the two teams have four wins apiece from their past eight meetings.
South Sydney, who have won their past five games, have replaced the suspended George Burgess with his twin brother Thomas.
Griffin rates the Rabbitohs as the best team in the competition, and the stats back him up. They concede fewer points, fewer line breaks and fewer offloads than any other side.
The Broncos coach said: “Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. Souths are a disciplined, big, aggressive side; it’s not a matter of trying to work them out, it’s trying to beat them with their strengths.”
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