Hunt spent Monday’s training run at hooker with McCullough (knee) out for the season.

“He’s a big player in our team but we’ve got a couple of options there,” Wayne Bennett said of McCullough.

The hooking role is one Hunt’s very familiar with having played that role for much of his career.

With Hunt expected to wear the No.9, Kodi Nikorima can return to the halves alongside Anthony Milford.

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“Ben’s a very smart player, a smart halfback, so moving into the hooking role shouldn’t be a worry,” teammate Korbin Sims told reporters on Monday, ahead of Saturday’s clash with Gold Coast.
Nikorima played five games at halfback earlier this year while Hunt was sidelined with an injury and the Broncos won all of them.

In a boost for the club, winger Corey Oates is poised to make his NRL return.

The 22-year-old has been sidelined for several weeks after being hospitalised to treat a staph infection.

Read on for the latest team news:

BULLDOGS V EELS

Thursday 3 August, 7.50pm at ANZ Stadium

Bulldogs mail: Brett Morris returns after missing last week with concussion. Sam Kasiano (sternum) is in serious doubt.

Eels mail: Nathan Brown will need to pass the concussion protocols but will be named to play. Mitchell Moses and Brad Takairangi are also cleared of injury.

“He’s carried a bump for a couple of weeks now. Takkas is fine and Browny had a head knock,” coach Brad Arthur said. Frank Pritchard will be named in the extended squad as he pushes to make his NRL return. “We’ve got good depth in the squad and everyone’s keen to play their role,” Arthur said.

Ben Ikin, Nathan Ryan and Ben Glover are joined by Sharks coach Shane Flanagan to talk about some key re-signings and why age no longer matters in roster management.

You can also subscribe via iTunes or for Android users, listen on the iPP Podcast Player app.

DRAGONS V RABBITOHS

Friday 4 August, 6pm at Sydney Cricket Ground

Dragons mail: Josh Dugan may shift back to fullback which would likely see Kurt Mann move to the centres.

Rabbitohs mail: Sam Burgess (ribs) is no certainty to take the field on the weekend. “We’ll just take it day by day through the week and see how we go,” Burgess said.

COWBOYS V STORM

Friday 4 August, 7.50pm at 1300SMILES Stadium

Cowboys mail: Shaun Fensom is a chance to return from a rib injury.

Billy Slater of the Storm is carried off after being knocked out.
Billy Slater of the Storm is carried off after being knocked out.Source: AAP

Storm mail: Billy Slater returns after a week off with concussion to push Jahrome Hughes out. Jordan McLean is expected to start in the front row.

KNIGHTS V WARRIORS

Saturday 5 August, 3pm at McDonald Jones Stadium

Knights mail: No changes expected.

Warriors mail: Bodene Thompson (pectoral) is out for the season. Bunty Afoa is expected to take his place, while Ryan Hoffman (foot) is a chance to return this week.

TITANS V BRONCOS

Saturday 5 August, 5.30pm at Cbus Super Stadium

Titans mail: Kevin Proctor (hamstring) is likely to be named. Kane Elgey is expected to be right. “He landed on his shoulder scoring the try. It’s a bit sore,” Neil Henry said. “I don’t think it’s anything major. I think he’ll be fine.”

Broncos mail: Kodi Nikorima, who missed last week with a hip injury, looks set to return to the halves with Ben Hunt replacing Andrew McCullough at hooker

SHARKS V RAIDERS

Saturday 5 August, 7.30pm at Southern Cross Group Stadium

Sharks mail: Fa’amanu Brown will need to pass the concussion protocols but is expected to be named. Jack Bird (sternum) is also expected to return.

Raiders mail: Jordan Rapana and Josh Papalii return from suspension.

SEA EAGLES V ROOSTERS

Sunday 6 August, 2pm at Lottoland

Sea Eagles mail: The Sea Eagles are likely to be without Addin Fonua-Blake after the prop was charged with a carless high tackle on Cooper Cronk. He’ll miss a week with an early plea.

Jake Friend of the Roosters passes the ball.
Jake Friend of the Roosters passes the ball.Source: AAP

Roosters mail: Boyd Cordner is poised to return after being rested with a knee issue. Jake Friend is a chance to return from a broken hand and replace Victor Radley.

PANTHERS V TIGERS

Sunday 6 August, 4pm at Pepper Stadium

Panthers mail: Matt Moylan is expected to be named to return from a hamstring injury. Dean Whare returned from a jaw injury in the ISP NSW over the weekend but they have lost prop Leilani Latu (broken jaw).

Tigers mail: Moses Suli (ankle) is likely to return.

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