Dragons game no rehearsal for Copley

Brisbane’s Dale Copley isn’t viewing Friday’s NRL clash with St George Illawarra as an early audition to become Justin Hodges replacement.

Copley is poised to take Hodges’ place in the Broncos lineup after the veteran centre accepted a one-game suspension for a high tackle in last week’s two-point loss to Canterbury.

With the Broncos captain announcing on Monday that the 2015 campaign will be his last, the race is on to impress coach Wayne Bennett and become Hodges’ long-term replacement.

But the 24-year-old Copley, who has only made seven NRL appearances this season, says he’s not thinking beyond the opportunity that has presented itself against the Dragons.

“There’s a fair bit of water to pass under the bridge before then,” Copley said of Hodges’ impending retirement.

“If anything this year’s taught me it’s that a lot can go on in rugby league in a short amount of time.

“This week’s game against the Dragons is not going to hold any weight on anything in the future. It’s Friday night I’m focused on, not anything next year.”

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