Brisbane forward Joe Ofahengaue says it’s exciting to know all eyes will be on the Broncos and Parramatta when the NRL season resumes on Thursday.
The two unbeaten teams will be the centre of Australia’s sporting landscape at Suncorp Stadium when rugby league becomes the first professional Australian competition to play amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Stealing a march on rival footy codes, rugby league has two weeks as the only domestic sport for fans to enjoy and Ofahengaue is as excited as anyone to get underway.
“Everyone’s had itchy feet trying to get back and play and we’ve got the opportunity to do that on Thursday and a lot of people are going to be watching,” the Queensland State of Origin representative said.
“It’s our chance to try and do well and put what we’re doing into practice, we’ve been training really hard and hopefully we can take it on the field.”
The 25-year-old is especially eager to get out and show what he can do after missing the opening two rounds due to a ban imposed after he pleaded guilty to an off-season drink-driving charge.
Ofahengaue’s last NRL appearance was the Broncos’ miserable 58-0 finals defeat at the hands of the Eels in the 2019 finals series.
While a lot has been made externally about Brisbane seeking redemption from that mauling, Ofahengaue said it wasn’t motivating the playing group.
“It is there in the back of our minds man but then again it was last year,” he said.
“We’ve got this year to focus on … if we’re focused on last year we’re not going to be focusing on our jobs.”
Brisbane forward Matt Lodge trained on Sunday as he attempts to make a remarkable recovery from a partially torn ACL suffered in pre-season.
A decision on Lodge’s eligibility will be made by Broncos coach Anthony Seibold on Tuesday but Ofahengaue said he’d looked good in Sunday’s training session.
“He bumped a couple of players off and made his presence felt,” Ofahengaue said.
“It feels like he’s ready to go but it’s up to the physio and coach and Lodgey to make that decision when it comes.”