Brisbane captain Justin Hodges believes it is fitting that his final NRL game at Suncorp Stadium is against former club Sydney Roosters.
Retiring centre Hodges, 33, will lead out the Broncos at home for the last time in Friday night’s grand final qualifier against the minor premiers.
He will line-up for his Suncorp Stadium swan-song against the only other club he spent time at during his glittering 16-season career, the Roosters (2002-2004).
And it seems he wouldn’t have had it any other way.
“When I saw they were first (minor premiers) I thought if we got to a grand final it would be against them,” Hodges said on Tuesday.
“I thought it would be fitting if I played a grand final against the two sides that I had won (premierships) with but it’s come a week early.
“I have always loved the Roosters.
“They are a great club.
“It’s only right that I get to play against them in a big semi.”
Hodges did not play in Brisbane’s 2000 title victory against the Rooters in his debut year before controversially leaving and featuring in the Tri-colours’ 2002 premiership triumph.
But all was forgiven at Red Hill when he returned to Brisbane and helped inspire their 2006 title success.
Six-time champions Brisbane have not won a premiership since – the club’s longest title drought.
Hodges also looked forward to adding another chapter to his great rivalry with Roosters and NSW centre Michael Jennings.
“He’s a guy you always love playing against,” Hodges said.
“He’s someone who brings the best out of me and I am sure I do for him as well.”
The winner plays the Melbourne-North Queensland victor in next week’s season decider in Sydney.
“It’s two great sides who trained all year for this moment,” Hodges said of their preliminary final clash.
“We are 80 minutes away from a grand final – that’s the prize everyone wants.”