Hodges battling injury ahead of NRL final

Brisbane skipper Justin Hodges is battling a back injury ahead of Sunday’s NRL grand final and the Broncos are hoping he will be able to train on match eve.

Alarm bells appeared to be ringing for Hodges after he failed to complete the warm-up due to his ongoing back complaint and walked away looking frustrated on Thursday.

Backrower Alex Glenn and forward Mitchell Dodds were no shows.

However, a Broncos spokesman said there were no concerns for the trio ahead of Sunday’s season decider against the Cowboys.

They hope Hodges will run out for the team on Saturday, 24 hours ahead of the crunch clash against North Queensland at ANZ Stadium.

Hodges received a massage after feeling discomfort early into the warm-up under the watchful gaze of coach Wayne Bennett before retreating to the dressing sheds.

Dale Copley – the 18th man – ran at training in Hodges’ place on Thursday.

Hodges injured his back in their preliminary final rout over Sydney Roosters, where he had to leave the field in the first half to receive treatment.

He failed to complete training on Monday and missed Tuesday’s session to escape a ban for a dangerous throw charge at the NRL judiciary.

But Brisbane on Thursday were adamant Hodges would be given the chance to draw the curtain on his glittering 16-season career in the season decider.

The Broncos spokesman said Glenn and Dodds were resting “general niggles” and would also be fit to play the grand final.

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