Ex-Test prop Ben Hannant has been recalled for Brisbane’s crunch Friday night NRL clash with Gold Coast but Martin Kennedy has been dropped.
All is forgiven for Ben Hannant, it seems.
Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin recalled the ex-Test prop for Friday night’s crunch NRL clash with the Gold Coast after co-captain Corey Parker denied there was any disharmony in the Broncos camp.
Underperforming recruit Martin Kennedy was not so lucky, replacing Hannant in second tier Queensland Cup side Ipswich while former skipper Sam Thaiday (calf) was again not named.
Hannant appeared on the outer just a week ago despite being Brisbane’s form prop on paper.
It sparked speculation that the off contract forward – a Test player just two years ago – would not see out the season at Brisbane.
There was also a report that Hannant was dumped because club management were given the impression he had tried to persuade a young Broncos player to demand more money.
However, Parker claimed there was no fallout over Hannant’s recent axing.
“I don’t think there has been any disharmony on what has happened there,” he said.
“From a players’ point of view our job is to play football and the coach coaches the side.
“There are decisions that are made that are out of our hands and we get on with it – but there’s no disharmony.”
Brisbane co-captain Justin Hodges could not stress the importance of their derby Suncorp Stadium clash enough as the 11th-placed Broncos looked to get on a pre-Origin period roll.
And Hannant looms as the key after being injected onto the bench by Griffin whose patience appears to have run out with ex-Sydney Rooster Kennedy.
The final straw was Kennedy – on about $400,000 a season – notching just 34m from three runs against the Cowboys last round.
Hannant will be welcomed back with open arms by a Brisbane pack that were monstered in their last round loss to North Queensland.
“This week’s pretty important. Origin is coming up so players are going to come in and out,” Hodges said.
“We don’t want to drop any further than where we are at the moment.”
Jarrod Wallace will partner Josh McGuire in the front row.
But the jury is out on whether Thaiday will return from a month on the sidelines.
A day after fronting the media and claiming he would play, Thaiday was again not named in the Brisbane 17.
“I have seen him running here, but calves are touchy injuries,” Parker said of Thaiday.
“It is more how he pulls up and how he feels. If he feels right he will play.”