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Hoffman will see out Broncos deal: coach

Josh Hoffman

Complaints from Josh Hoffman's management haven't changed Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin's stance on who should be fullback next NRL season.
Hoffman will see out Broncos deal: coach
by AAP

By Laine Clark

BRISBANE, Nov 6 AAP - Complaints from Josh Hoffman's management haven't changed Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin's stance on who should be fullback next NRL season.

But Griffin is confident New Zealand World Cup fullback Hoffman will see out his contract at the NRL club without guarantees over his position on the field.

Griffin revealed star recruit Ben Barba's recovery from ankle surgery was ahead of schedule when the Broncos returned for pre-season training on Wednesday.

It means a tough selection decision looms in the weeks after incumbent fullback Hoffman returns from the World Cup.

Hoffman's manager Paul Hogan claimed his client was unhappy after Barba's recruitment and a subsequent claim from Brisbane teammate Justin Hodges that Hoffman was "not the right guy" for fullback.

Hogan hinted that Hoffman - contracted until the end of 2015 at Brisbane - would weigh up his options upon his World Cup return after receiving other NRL offers.

But Griffin said nothing would change his "team first" approach to picking sides week in, week out next year - and he expected Hoffman to buy into that until at least his contract expires.

Asked if he was confident Hoffman would see out his current deal, Griffin said: "Absolutely.

"Players from time to time in their career will go through tough patches.

"It is not going to be their cup of tea every day of the week but we are a football team.

"That is as clear as I can make it."

Asked if he was concerned by the noises being made by Hoffman's management, Griffin said: "I am not.

"No matter who it is, whether it is Josh Hoffman or Ben Barba or whoever, they are players in a team.

"They will play where it best suits the team at the time.

"That will be determined in a few months' time."

Griffin was more than happy with Barba who'd settled in well in Brisbane with his family since being released from the Bulldogs on compassionate grounds.

"He's ahead of schedule with his recovery," he said.

"The key for Ben is that he concentrates on his recovery and we don't all start getting ahead of ourselves and start talking about what he might or might not do on the field.

"He has had a tough year physically and emotionally.

"He has been with the Bulldogs a long time and he's at a new club.

"The real key for him is to make sure we look after him both on and off the field and there's no pressure or expectations on him."

Griffin said the club was still hurting "tremendously" after finishing 12th in 2013 with a 10-1-13 win-draw-loss record - the worst record in their history.

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