Jordan Kahu idolised fellow Kiwi Benji Marshall as a teenager, but he could block the veteran’s path to a full-time NRL return at Brisbane.
Kahu was spotted training in the left centre position at Broncos training on Monday, the same position Marshall is considered most likely to fill if he plays on a week-to-week basis in 2017.
Kahu is considered to be the most versatile player in the Brisbane backline.
The 25-year-old spent most of last season playing on the wing, however with the retirement of Jack Reed and the acquisition of David Mead, a shift to the centres in 2017 could be the most likely option.
And while he is yet to speak to coach Wayne Bennett about the possible move, Kahu believes he would be comfortable playing one man further in.
“I’ll put my hand up to play there,” he said.
“I started there when we were waiting for Reedy to come back last year.
“I’m not too uncomfortable. If I do get picked to play centre then I will do it.”
That could present a problem for Marshall, given James Roberts has a hold on the other centre position.
The former Wests Tigers and St George Illawarra playmaker is unlikely to command a full-time spot elsewhere in the 17, given Kodi Nikorima provides play-making impact off the bench and Anthony Milford and Ben Hunt are settled in the halves.
Marshall has earlier said he arrived at the club with the knowledge he could spend time in the Queensland Cup.
Meanwhile Kahu, who attended the same high school as Marshall on the Gold Coast, indicated he was thriving on having the veteran around.
“He started at Keebra Park and I think every kid that goes to Keebra Park idolised Benji because he started all of that with all the Kiwi boys going through to the NRL,” Kahu said.
“He’s had a fair bit of injuries so to see him still running around … it’s a blessing to have him here as well.”
Kahu has started 33 games on the wing, 17 in the centres and five at fullback since debuting in 2013, scoring a total on 31 tries.
However on Monday Brisbane and Australian representative Sam Thaiday backed him to make a home for himself in the centres.
“I’d love to see him lock into a centre position,” Thaiday said.
“He’s fantastic in that position.
“The best thing about him is he can play any position in the outside backs – he could play halves if you wanted him to or even hooker.
“But I hope he does get a good centre spot this year.”
Thaiday also indicated that Marshall had spent time training at dummy-half since the team returned from the Christmas break.