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Hoffman fires back at World Cup

Josh Hoffman may prefer not to publicly respond to in-house criticism but his manager says the unhappy Broncos fullback has provided the perfect rebuttal at the World Cup.
Hoffman fires back at World Cup
by AAP

By Laine Clark

BRISBANE, Nov 1 AAP - Josh Hoffman may prefer not to publicly respond to in-house criticism but his manager says the unhappy Broncos fullback has provided the perfect rebuttal at the World Cup.

Hoffman's place in the Broncos line-up came under further scrutiny on Friday when a fit-again Ben Barba confirmed he would make his Brisbane debut against former NRL club the Bulldogs at the pre-season Auckland Nines.

A claim by Brisbane teammate Justin Hodges that Hoffman "is not the right guy" to be the Broncos' No.1 was already ringing in the Kiwi international's ears.

Hoffman's manager Paul Hogan says his client won't enter into a slanging match with Hodges, who claimed his Brisbane teammate had to improve his passing game to become a world class fullback.

But Hogan added that Hoffman had already provided a fitting retort in New Zealand's opening 42-24 World Cup win over Samoa in the UK.

"Have a look at the stats for leading try assists at the tournament: Josh is equal top with two from the weekend's game," Hogan told AAP.

"Both were from passes. That's the only comment I have to make about that.

"Josh just wants his footy to do the talking." Hogan says Hodgson is entitled to his opinion.

"To be frank, we were surprised a player in the leadership group would be making comments about one of his teammates," he said.

"But those issues have been raised at the Broncos and we have left it to them to deal with it."

NRL clubs have shown interest in Hoffman since he again started weighing up his future following Hodges' comments.

Brisbane are determined not to release Hoffman, who is contracted until 2015.

"They were chasing (then Canberra No.1 Josh) Dugan, they signed Barba: it sends strange messages to Josh," Hogan said.

"Josh has shown he is their best fullback over the last three to four years but still doesn't always get picked in that position.

"They have made their position clear, as have we. But we can't do anything until Josh comes back from the World Cup and I don't want him to worry about this stuff."

Meanwhile, the Broncos can officially begin talks with the management of Cameron Smith and Anthony Milford from Friday.

Brisbane football manager Andrew Gee isn't saying if they are and apologised on the Broncos website "for the secrecy around the Broncos future recruiting plans," claiming it was a "necessary evil".

"With the media attention on the game now you can't afford to let anyone know what your plans are," Gee said.

"We understand that is pretty hard for your stakeholders especially your members.

"But what you have got to do is keep your mouth shut, do your job and hope things eventuate."


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