Broncos captain Darius Boyd will line up at fullback against the Cowboys. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)
Broncos captain Darius Boyd will line up at fullback against the Cowboys. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

Bennett still searching for answers

BRONCOS coach Wayne Bennett says he is still searching for his best combinations after shifting captain Darius Boyd back to fullback for Thursday night's derby against the Cowboys.

Bennett has made a number of positional switches for the crucial clash in Townsville which Brisbane must win to have any chance of finishing in the top four.

After a three-game stint at left centre, Boyd will return to fullback, moving rookie-of-the-year contender Jamayne Isaako to the right wing where he will replace the axed Jordan Kahu.

Teenager Gehamat Shibasaki will make his NRL debut at left centre against North Queensland as Bennett searches for a way to spark the Broncos after last week's dreadful loss to Canterbury.

The electric Isaako did little wrong in his brief stint at fullback and is Brisbane's long-term No. 1.

But Bennett said he was moving Boyd into his favoured fullback role in a bid to find Brisbane's most potent set up ahead of the finals.

Gehamat Shibasaki will debut in the centres and Boyd will move to fullback. AAP Image/Dan Peled.
Gehamat Shibasaki will debut in the centres and Boyd will move to fullback. AAP Image/Dan Peled.

"He's done a good job there for us, Jamayne," he said.

"I'm going to put Darius back there. I never said it was permanent or temporary either.

"We've got four weeks to go in the season and we'll see if we can nail a few things we need to nail."

After playing one NRL game last year, Isaako has been a revelation for the Broncos in 2018.

The 22-year-old has committed to the Broncos until 2022 and will replace Boyd in the No. 1 jersey permanently in the not too distant future.

He is somewhat unlucky to be moved from fullback but Isaako said he was not disappointed in Bennett's decision.

"There are a couple of key positional changes this week," he said.

"Wayne is making a few changes for a game we want to win this week. With Darius having a lot more experience he could be chucking him back at fullback.

"It's been good to get back there and a feel for playing fullback at the top level.

"I've learnt off Darbs and him going back there gives me an opportunity to go back to the wing and watch him do his thing in big games like this."

The seventh-placed Broncos are facing an uphill battle to move into the top four before the regular season finishes in four weeks.

Their task has been made even more difficult with lock Josh McGuire suspended for hair-pulling and Tevita Pangai Jr (groin) in major doubt for the game.

Bennett named Pangai Jr in his reserves ahead of a fitness test at training on Wednesday morning with young gun David Fifita likely to start in the back row.