Takairangi could move to forwards

Friday February 02, 2018 Written by Published in League
Eels star Brad Takairangi may fi nd himself playing in a new position when the new NRL season comes around. 18013111 Eels star Brad Takairangi may fi nd himself playing in a new position when the new NRL season comes around. 18013111

Due to a glut of backline options, Cook Islander Brad Takairangi may find himself filling a new position when the Parramatta Eels’ NRL season begins in March.

 

The workmanlike centre, regarded by many as a solid but limited player, stepped up in 2017 to earn a reputation as one of the top centres in the league, winning an international call-up from New Zealand at the Rugby League World Cup.

But despite apparently establishing himself as the first-choice centre for the Kiwis and Eels, the homecoming of Parramatta hero Jarryd Hayne may push the Cook Islander into the forward pack.

Hayne spent nine years with the Eels before leaving in 2014 to try his hand at American football and Sevens.

In 2009 he won the Dally M award for the NRL’s best player from fullback, but has not displayed the same game-breaking ability since his return to the NRL in 2016.

And after Parramatta coach Brad Arthur hinted that the number one jersey belongs to incumbent Bevan French, it looks as though Hayne will be competing for a spot in the team at centre.

“I don’t like giving away too much at the moment because I want them all to work hard. No one has a position yet,” Arthur said to Foxsports.

“But Takka (Takairangi) is someone who needs to be in the 17.”

If moved, the former Cook Islands international would likely find himself in the backrow, where he has substantial experience, joining the likes of Nathan Brown, Beau Scott and fellow Kuki Tepai Moeroa.

 

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