'A rare breed': Kodi gets Bennett tick for No.1 switch

·2-min read
Jono Searle/AAP PHOTOS

Kodi Nikorima will play in his fifth position this season when he wears the No.1 jersey against St George Illawarra with the full backing of his coach Wayne Bennett

Nikorima will switch from No.6 to play fullback at Kayo Stadium in Redcliffe on Thursday night in place of Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, who is in State of Origin camp with Queensland.

The Dolphins resident 'Mr Fix-It' has been integral to the side's climb into the top eight, filling gaps as need be and doing so with panache.

"He is confident he can do it. I didn't put him there without talking to him about it," Bennett said.

"He is happy to play there and has played there a fair bit at the Warriors and Souths.

"He plays half, five-eighth, hooker and played in the centres for us a few weeks ago and did a great job there against Cronulla.

"Kodi is a rare breed. He is a football player and football players can play any position."

Bennett said Anthony Milford would play five-eighth after earning a starting berth for the first time since injuring his hamstring against the Dragons in round five.

"It wasn't handed to him or gifted to him. He has played state league and he's been on the interchange bench," Bennett said.

Bennett has rebooted the career of winger Jamayne Isaako who has rediscovered the form he displayed at the Broncos in 2018 when he was Dally M rookie of the year.

The coach said Isaako was "reborn" in general play and also praised his goal kicking which has been on song and taken him to the top of the NRL scoring list with 120 points.

"It is a bit hard to say who has been our best player but he has been in our top three players every week," Bennett said

"I am more proud of the way he has come back. He was in a bad place the last couple of years.

"The Jamayne we saw at 19 years of age we hadn't seen in a long time but he was one of the first players I recruited when I came here because I knew he would flourish in the right environment.

"He has got his confidence back and is enjoying what he is doing."

The sixth-placed Dolphins played their worst game of the season in the 38-12 loss to St George Illawarra in round five and are coming off a 24-16 loss to Melbourne. The home side also welcome back prop Mark Nicholls from a broken thumb on the bench while cult hero Valynce Te Whare gets his second NRL game off the bench.

The Dragons, in last position, are backing up from a last-minute 24-22 win over the Sydney Roosters in what was interim coach Ryan Carr's first game in charge.