Broncos fitness concern for backline trio

Tesi Niu (l) left Brisbane training early on Tuesday with Brodie Croft checking in on the youngster.
Tesi Niu (l) left Brisbane training early on Tuesday with Brodie Croft checking in on the youngster.

Code hopper Ben Te'o will step up in the absence of injured skipper Alex Glenn but an injury-hit Brisbane may be forced into a backline reshuffle for Friday's NRL clash with Wests Tigers.

Former Queensland star and English rugby international Te'o will replace Glenn in the starting back-row after their captain was ruled out for up to eight weeks with a knee injury suffered in last round's drought breaking win over Canterbury.

But the Broncos have had little time to savour the victory that snapped a six-game losing streak with flyers Herbie Farnworth (knee), Xavier Coates (thigh) and Tesi Niu (cork) all troubled at training on Tuesday.

Richie Kennar is on standby for centre Farnworth who must pass a fitness test on Thursday but Brisbane are quietly confident Coates and Niu will play.

More injuries are the last thing Brisbane need as they sweat on the return of star back-rower David Fifita (knee), prop Matt Lodge (knee), centre Kotoni Staggs (hamstring) and hooker Jake Turpin (leg).

Fifita, Lodge and Staggs were initially considered a chance of returning for the Tigers clash but the trio are at least another week away.

In some welcome good news Brisbane welcomed back Queensland back-rower Joe Ofahengaue from a two match shoulder charge ban, adding him to the bench against the Tigers.

Back-up hooker Cory Paix said the young Broncos would look to Te'o for inspiration with their depth set to be tested again when they run out against the Tigers.

It marks the 33-year-old Te'o's first NRL start since 2014 after five games off the bench for Brisbane.

"He provides a lot of leadership," Paix said.

"He's a great player, plenty of experience. Ben is a big body and very aggressive, so as a nine I will look to use him on the short edges.

"He is very threatening there in the back-row so I'm sure most halves wouldn't want to tackle him."

Meanwhile Brisbane prop Payne Haas admitted he had been in Fifita's ear as the sidelined star mulls over his NRL future.

The off contract Fifita is torn after being offered a staggering $1.25 million deal for 2021 by Gold Coast Titans.

"I have told him that I want him to stay here. I have told him that plenty of times but at the end of the day he is a man," Haas said.

"I think we all know how special he is and obviously we want him at the club - he is a once-in-a-generation type of player.

"It is tough with his decision. It is pretty big money to be offered but whatever he chooses for him and his family, I am happy either way."

Australian Associated Press