Nikorima’s NRL future up in the air

Off-contract Brisbane utility Kodi Nikorima could wait until after the State of Origin period before making a call on his NRL future.

But the versatile 22-year-old appears to be delaying the inevitable, with the Broncos unable to match neither the money nor playing opportunities available in the reported offer on the table from Melbourne.

The Storm are attempting to entice Nikorima with the chance to become a starter in the halves – something Brisbane cannot do with playmakers Ben Hunt and Anthony Milford well and truly entrenched in their positions.

Joining a Melbourne spine that includes Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater in 2017 is a tantalising prospect, but it’s a decision he isn’t keen to rush into.

“I haven’t spoken to my manager in a couple of weeks now, he’s just saying ‘leave it up to me, you focus on your footy’ and we’ll discuss, I guess, in the bye week or after the Origin period,” Nikorima told reporters on Wednesday.

“For now I just want to play good footy and make the Broncos.

“I’d love to stay long term, I’ve been here since I was 12 and this club means a lot to me.”

Nikorima wouldn’t discuss the Storm’s offer, saying “they’re our rivals. I just want to focus on Brisbane.”

Nikorima has been named on the bench for Saturday’s game against the Warriors in Auckland.

Regular rake Andrew McCullough (thumb) has been ruled out for up to two months, with coach Wayne Bennett preferring Travis Waddell to start at No.9 ahead of Nikorima.

“I’ll play wherever Wayne needs me,” he said.

“If it is starting, it’s starting, if not I’ll keep doing the same role I’m doing.

“(McCullough) has been out before, he had that two week stint out and obviously I got more time.

“There will be a bit more pressure on myself and the other hooker this week, Macca leaves a big dent in our side, we’ve really got to step up.”

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