Newcastle Knights' skillful utility back Dane Gagai is feeling more comfortable at fullback as the side prepares for Round 10 against the Wests Tigers at Hunter Stadium.
Gagai embraced the chance to prove his versatility when he made the shift last weekend after coach Rick Stone was forced to change his Round 9 line-up.
After a quality training session on Wednesday, the 24-year-old is excited for Sunday's return to Hunter Stadium.
“I had a good session this morning and I think we all did. I’m happy with how the team went and how I went at the back,” he said after training.
“I definitely feel a lot more comfortable out the back and under the high balls.
“I’m getting my hands on the ball a lot more and hopefully on the weekend, there might be an opportunity to get some broken play and hopefully we capitalise on that.
“I’m not doing as much tackling, but that’s been overtaken by a lot more running.
“I tend to blow out a lot quicker than I normally do, but I enjoy it.”
While Gagai has established himself at centre since joining the Knights, he jumped at the opportunity to challenge himself in the role.
“Obviously with Jarrod out injured, we needed someone to go there and I put my hand up,” he said.
“(Rick) Stoney backed me, which gave me that bit of confidence that he trusted me that I’d do the job at fullback.”
Feeling better prepared and boosted by the confidence of an applaudable performance against the Manly Sea Eagles, he’s eager for Sunday’s contest.
“It’s going to be a tough game that’s for sure,” Gagai added.
“They have some solid forwards and some pretty dangerous backs.
“We need to make sure we keep our errors to a minimum and just make sure we don’t let them get away with the game.
“We just have to stay in the grind, then hopefully we can start performing and dishing up some good footy and hopefully get some tries.
“We are all staying positive. It was obviously not the way we wanted to start it after having the bye weekend.
“In saying that, the competition is still close.
“No one is negative and we are looking forward to this weekend’s game.
“We just really need our fans to get behind us and stay with us because I know the boys will do whatever it takes to get this win.”
Support your Newcastle Knights this Sunday at Hunter Stadium.