Broncos full of fullback options: Henjak - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Broncos full of fullback options: Henjak

By Wayne Heming 30/11/2009 06:31:50 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane coach Ivan Henjak has not ruled out using internationals Darren Lockyer or Justin Hodges at fullback next season with troubled footballer Tim Smith a big chance to re-ignite his NRL career with the Broncos.

While it's unlikely Lockyer or Hodges would slot permanently back to fullback to replace AFL defector Karmichael Hunt, Henjak refused to dismiss the possibility of filling the role at times if it suited the team.

"We haven't settled on a number of positions," said Henjak, after overseeing Brisbane's first official pre-season training session at St Lucia on Monday.

"We're going to use the next 12 weeks to sort out who plays where and whether players can move to other positions.

"I'm really keen to be as versatile as we can with our footy side this year."

Hunt was difficult to defend playing as a second five-eighth with Lockyer in a successful second man move which created a number of tries for the club.

Unless he finds a player capable of duplicating Hunt's style, Henjak will have to make adjustments for the upcoming season.

"We've got a number of options there, I'm not concerned with fullback," he said.

"Josh Hoffman is a real chance, Dale Copley has played there, Denan Kemp's played there, Gerard Beale's played there.

"Justin Hodges is a chance to go back there, there's a lot of options there ... Darren Lockyer's played there in the past."

Smith, 24, played 71 games for Parramatta before announcing early in 2008 he was taking a break from rugby league to sort out some personal issues.

He hasn't played since having a stint with the English Super League side Wigan last year.

Smith has a contract with Brisbane club Easts in the Queensland Cup and as one of their dual registered players can play for the Broncos if they need him.

"If Tim goes well, there's definitely an opportunity for him," said Henjak.

"He's very keen to make an impression and he's pretty determined to get back playing in the NRL.

"He's obviously had a tough time at different stages of his career.

"He seems to have matured and wants an opportunity to make a go of it and we're prepared to give him that chance."

Brisbane have suffered for a number of years in the halves at Origin time.

A player of Smith's class would be a huge bonus.

"He's a first grade player and depth in that position is crucial for us," said Henjak.

"You've seen us struggle around Origin time when we lose those decision-makers and play makers and I'm sure he'll be a very hand acquisition.

"I don't know his past too much. He's had his battles with different things but he's 24-years old now, he's played overseas, so I'm sure he's grown up a bit.

"I'm looking forward to working with him, I'm sure he's got some fine qualities and some things in his game that can be good for us.

"We're going to give him a chance."

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