Don't pick me.
That was the surprising advice from Benji Marshall after admitting Kodi Nikorima was best choice as Brisbane halfback if skipper Darius Boyd returns.
Boyd missed training on Monday due to personal reasons but appears a near certainty to return from a two week hamstring injury in Friday night's NRL preliminary final in Melbourne.
Boyd's comeback will force coach Wayne Bennett to choose between fill-in fullback Kodi Nikorima or incumbent veteran No.7 Marshall as his starting halfback against runaway favourites the Storm.
Broncos great Darren Lockyer had called on ex-Wests Tigers premiership player Marshall to take the reins for the grand final qualifier over Nikorima even if Boyd returned.
While flattered by Lockyer's call, Marshall believed Nikorima should return to the halves with Anthony Milford.
"I didn't know he said that, it's a big rap from Locky," Marshall said.
"But in my opinion I think Kodi deserves the opportunity, that's from a team point of view.
"Obviously I would love to have that chance but I think I play a pretty good role off the bench."
Marshall had started at halfback in their two finals games, helping Brisbane defy an injury list featuring Boyd, hooker Andrew McCullough (knee) and prop Korbin Sims (arm) to be one win away from a second grand final in three years.
Pint-sized playmaker Nikorima had been filling in at fullback for Boyd the last fortnight and stood tall at the back in their 13-6 semi-final win over Penrith last week.
"If Darius comes back hopefully I am on the bench, I think I have been a little inconsistent the last couple of weeks," Marshall said.
"If Darius is fit I think Kodi has deserved his opportunity at halfback.
"I have been playing my bench role for most of the season, that's how I see it."
Marshall said Boyd's return would give the raging underdogs the lift required to defy their woeful record against Melbourne.
The Broncos have won just four of 23 games against the Storm since the six time premiers downed them to claim the 2006 crown, ensuring their longest title drought.
"He is one of the best leaders I have played under," Marshall said of Boyd.
"It's his ability to get teams up for games, to calm the team down before games and under the posts when the opposition scores.
"And when Darius is running the ball back at 100 miles an hour and doing the carries we know he can do - it lifts the team."
Brisbane will also be sweating on winger Corey Oates (concussion) and forwards Jai Arrow, Sam Thaiday (head knocks) and Tevita Pangai Junior (hamstring) ahead of the Storm clash.
Oates appeared the biggest risk after being taken off by a medicab following a sickening collision with teammate Milford in the 21st minute.
Oates appeared in good spirits at training on Monday, even putting on head gear in front of TV cameras as he went through light duties.click here for full story...