Hodges named in big Broncos squad - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hodges named in big Broncos squad

19/05/2009 05:35:10 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane coach Ivan Henjak says Test centre Justin Hodges won't be pressured into risking his Queensland Origin jumper to help the Broncos.

Hodges remains in doubt for Friday night's NRL clash with Wests Tigers after injuring his hamstring in Australia's Test win over New Zealand earlier this month.

He missed last Sunday's win over the Gold Coast and failed to train on Monday, casting concerns over his fitness this weekend with the first Origin game in Melbourne on June 3.

"If there's a risk with him playing this week then he obviously puts his Origin spot in danger," said Henjak.

"What I don't want him to do is feel he has to help the Broncos when it's not the right decision for him.

"I know he wants to play. He wanted to play last week after the Australian game but it was too much of a risk.

"I don't want him playing because he feels pressure to help us out if his hamstring is going to become an ongoing thing."

With concerns over Hodges and prop Joel Clinton (lower leg) Henjak covered all bases on Tuesday, naming a 21-man squad that included prop Dave Taylor who last week disappointed the club by signing a three-year deal with South Sydney.

Henjak said Taylor had achieved the goals he set playing for the Central Comets in the Queensland Cup.

"He made the targets that he needed but it's not cut and dried with him yet," he said.

Henjak admitted it was a "tough situation" continuing to develop the boom 20 year-old knowing he would walk out the door at the end of the season to play for a rival NRL club.

"It's a battle you fight with yourself over," he said.

"At the end of the day I have to do the right thing by the team and put my personal feelings aside.

"I told Dave where he needed to be and I was never going to be blackmailed into picking him because there were negotiations going on."

The news was mixed for the Gold Coast with Test duo Luke Bailey and Anthony Laffranchi expected to bolster the Titans pack for Sunday's showdown with Manly at Skilled Park but a question mark remains over utility Preston Campbell (hamstring).

Laffranchi (suspended) and Bailey (calf) missed last weekend's loss to Brisbane but both were named in coach John Cartwright's 20-man squad on Thursday.

Laffranchi is a certain starter but Bailey will have to pass a fitness test later in the week before being cleared to play.

"It's early in the week and we'll give Bails (Bailey) until the end of the week but (Matt) White is available, (Aaron) Cannings is available, so we'll settle on a side later in the week.

"Presto (Campbell) is in a bit of doubt, he's been carrying a hamstring the last few weeks and it was a little bit sorer today than it's been."

Meanwhile coach Neil Henry has stuck with the players who upset the Warriors in Auckland last weekend for the Cowboys clash of the round with Newcastle at Dairy Farmers Stadium on Monday.

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