Hodges step closer to Broncos dream

Former Broncos' captain Justin Hodges hopes to eventually return to the club as head coach.
Former Broncos' captain Justin Hodges hopes to eventually return to the club as head coach.

While he has no problem with Anthony Seibold, Brisbane great Justin Hodges believes he has taken another step toward one day taking over the reigns at the Brisbane Broncos.

Hodges said former South Sydney coach Seibold was the right man to replace 25-season veteran Wayne Bennett for the 2019 NRL season, admitting Broncos players needed to hear a different voice at Red Hill.

But the former Broncos skipper believed he was a step closer to realising his dream of becoming Brisbane coach after being promoted to the 2019 Queensland State of Origin staff.

Following a successful stint as Queensland under-20s mentor, Hodges' rapid rise through the ranks has continued with his elevation as Maroons defensive coach next year.

Queensland coach Kevin Walters signed up Hodges as part of a raft of support staff changes following their rare series loss to NSW in 2018.

"I think every player's ambition is to coach the side that they love, one day hopefully (I will coach Broncos)," Hodges said.

"(But) I am still learning the ropes. This (Maroons) assistant job will really help me learn.

"I don't want to go too hard too early. I just want to get into (Queensland) camp and learn a few things off Kevvie.

"And having guys like Petero (Civoniceva), JT (Johnathan Thurston) and Billy Slater still coming into camp I will learn so many good things.

"That's what makes a good coach. You can't think you know it all."

Hodges has no immediate plans to sit in the Brisbane hot seat after Seibold took up a five year deal following an ugly coach swap saga that ended with Bennett being sacked via voice message.

"It was disappointing the way it all panned out in the media," Hodges said.

"(But) I think he (Seibold) is a great coach. He did a wonderful job at South Sydney last year, he turned those guys into a happy club again.

"A lot of their forwards over the last couple of years have looked fatigued but he brought them back to where they wanted to be."

Hodges has close ties with Bennett after winning a premiership under the master mentor in 2006 but believed Seibold was just what Brisbane needed to end their 12 year title slump.

"With a younger coach he brings fresh ideas and I think that is what the Broncos have been screaming out for," he said.

"Wayne has done a fantastic job for a long period of time but I think the players just need that different voice at this time in their career."

Australian Associated Press