The New Zealand club is said to have dug deep to offer Nikorima a lucrative contract through to the end of 2022, according to – and the half is expected to miss Thursday's clash with South Sydney through injury anyway.

Dearden will immediately step up to take his place this week - and captain Darius Boyd is confident the 18 year old is up to the task.

"We've all had a chat to Kodi and he's told us he has a decision to make. Whatever Kodi decides to do, we will back him 100 per cent," Broncos captain Darius Boyd told the official NRL website.

"Rugby league is a business and you always want to look after your family. He has just had a baby boy recently so if he thinks it is best to go the Warriors we wish him well.

"He has been a great player for this club. If Kodi does go, it gives Tommy Dearden an opportunity. He is a young kid but definitely ready, has all the attributes and I am excited to play with him."