Thaiday set for positional switch
Indigenous All Stars forward Sam Thaiday has hinted that his surprise start in the second row for Saturday night's Harvey Norman All Stars game may not be a one-off this season.
Thaiday's selection in the back row follows the withdrawal of South Sydney's Chris Grevsmuhl from the fixture.
30 year-old Thaiday has represented his state and country in the second row, and a return to the position at club level looks like it may be on the cards.
Brisbane has an embarrassment of riches up front following the return of Josh McGuire from a severe Achilles injury.
With McGuire returning and interchanges reducing from 10 to 8 – it seems a positional move for Thaiday may be inevitable.
Thaiday, who has worked remarkably hard on his fitness in the off-season, may move to the edge in a bid to become an 80-minute man – a valuable asset with just eight interchanges per game.
Thaiday says he is open to a permanent move back to the second row, but ultimately it will be World All Stars and Brisbane Broncos coach Wayne Bennett's decision.
"Hopefully Wayne will be watching from the other coaching box. He can watch the game and make his judgement off that," said Thaiday.
"We've discussed a few things at the Broncos about how we're going to work this new interchange and who's going to go where.
"Over the next couple of weeks while we're playing trial matches we'll go from there and by Round 1 we'll know who's playing where and what is happening with the team."
Thaiday had a standout 2015 season for Brisbane in the front row, averaging just over 100 running metres and 35 tackles per game – a great return that ultimately resulted in the Townsville-born workhorse being rewarded with a new three-year deal at Brisbane.
It leaves master coach Bennett with a tough decision on where to play the versatile forward.
Thaiday's focus is firmly set on Saturday as he plans on making the most of the move back to the position where he started his career.
"I played one or two games in the second-row last year for the Broncos and I have played a bit of representative football there," said Thaiday.
"It's been a little while since I've played second-row so I'm looking forward at getting back there and running at smaller guys.
"Hopefully I don't have to make as many tackles as I usually do in the middle of the field.
"I am definitely looking forward to playing out on the edge again. I feel a lot fresher after I have played there.
"It's a tough old slug when you're playing in the middle of the field and having to make a lot more tackles and a lot more runs.
"I still get excited out on an edge and try to make as many tackles as I can but they're different decisions that you have to make. On the edge I am more defending movement rather than bodies. I think that's what I am looking forward to the most."