Anthony Milford with daughter Ariana, and Kodi Nikorima with son Zavier. (AAP Image/Claudia Baxter)
Anthony Milford with daughter Ariana, and Kodi Nikorima with son Zavier. (AAP Image/Claudia Baxter)

Fatherhood shapes Nikorima’s all-round game

Kodi Nikorima can't remember what life was like before the birth of his first child - but he knows he's a better man and a better player for it.

Nikorima and partner Bree Tobler this year welcomed Xavier into the world and while it's still a steep learning curve, the Broncos halfback is relishing parenthood both on and off the paddock.

"I got thinking the other day about what I was doing before he came along, you know. Playing video games, staying up late, watching movies, just doing whatever I wanted to.

Anthony Milford with daughter Ariana, and Kodi Nikorima with son Zavier. (AAP Image/Claudia Baxter)
Anthony Milford with daughter Ariana, and Kodi Nikorima with son Zavier. (AAP Image/Claudia Baxter)

"Now I've got to prioritise around my kid and it's something I'm really enjoying.

"Obviously you're spending time at training and having fun, but then I get to go home and see my son smiling at me - he's starting to recognise us - and that just makes my day."

"This is just a game we play after all and I love the game, but this here is real life and it took me having a baby to realise that."

That maturity was last week noted by fellow Kiwi international Jesse Bromwich, who declared Nikorima to be a genuine leader at the Broncos.

 

Nikorima says having a child has helped him on and off the field. Picture: Peter Wallis
Nikorima says having a child has helped him on and off the field. Picture: Peter Wallis

 

"I definitely think taking on that responsibility at home has helped me take on a bit more responsibility here," the 24-year-old said.

"Communication's a big one you need at home with your partner and that's something I've got to do here as well, communicating with my rugby league partners in Milf (Anthony Milford), Macca (Andrew McCullough), Darbs (Darius Boyd) and everyone really.

"When my missus tries to boss me around at home, it's become almost an instinct doing it so much at footy that I'll just say nah, I'm the boss, I'm the boss," he joked.

 

Nikorima has learnt from fatherhood. Picture: Peter Wallis
Nikorima has learnt from fatherhood. Picture: Peter Wallis

 

It's a positive step for Nikorima, who admits on-field chatter has never been his strong suit.

"Being a half, you need to be a pretty big talker and that's something I've definitely worked to improve on over the years."

"I probably wasn't strong enough with that talk last year but it's a big focus for me now and making sure it's the right talk, good positive talk with the guys around you."

 

Nikorima and Andrew McCullough at the Kayo season launch.
Nikorima and Andrew McCullough at the Kayo season launch.

 

KAYO LAUNCHES SEASON WITH BRONCOS STARS

Some of the Broncos' biggest names helped Kayo celebrate the start of the season on Monday in Brisbane, as two custom made, life-size, replica bobble heads were taken through their paces at training.

Kodi Nikorima and Andrew McCullough were joined by their super-sized lookalikes, as the duo prepared for a larger-than-life footy season on Kayo.

McCullough said he was amazed by how far technology had advanced during his career.

"Anywhere you go these days, you're streaming stuff on a handheld device and you can watch just about anything."

"My parents are out west, so if they can't get to a game and get stuck at work, they can just stream my games on Kayo and watch which is pretty great," he said.

Kayo will show every round live and on demand. Fans can sign up and instantly stream all the action at kayosports.com.au.

News Corp Australia

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