Kurt Capewell has been the Mr Fix-It for the Cronulla Sharks but the versatile utility has reached a stage in his career where he wants to settle into the second row.
With veteran Luke Lewis sidelined with an ankle injury until the end of the month, Capewell has a chance to get extended time on the left edge for the Sharks but he will probably have to wait until the former international and co-captain Paul Gallen retire to get a permanent start in Cronulla's crowded back row.
Capewell, who headed south from the Ipswich Jets in 2016, has appeared all over the field throughout his time at the Sharks, also filling in with a couple of stints in the centres and on the wing.
The 24-year-old was elevated into the starting side last Friday for the clash against the North Queensland Cowboys in Townsville after Lewis injured himself in the captain's run the previous day.
"He’s playing some awesome footy and he’s a great leader as well so he’s a massive asset to lose but I do see it as an opportunity to play some regular first grade and hopefully play well," he said.
"I’ve signed for the next two years at the club so hopefully I’m playing consistent first grade and I’m in there every week.
Match: Sharks v Dragons
Round 2 -
Venue: Southern Cross Group Stadium
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"I’m sort of trying to nail down back row at the moment so that’s what focusing on but I’d like to be able to cover all bases in case anyone goes down or if I need to slip in anywhere hopefully I’m more than capable."
The Sharks were sent back to the drawing board after the 20-14 loss to the Cowboys and Capewell said the result was due to their poor completion rather than being out-muscled by their opponents.
"We didn’t play the best last week but hopefully we’ve rectified a few of those issues during training, we know what we’ve have to work on so it’s just a matter of outing that together and getting the job done," he said.
"A lot of it was getting through our sets, obviously we had a pretty crappy completion rate with all the dropped ball so just mainly working through our sets and not giving away so much penalties.
"We were still competitive even though we didn’t complete very well and that’s a positive to take from that game. We still only lost by a try, some teams would have been blown off the park so it’s something to work on and I’m sure we’ll build on it.”
Cronulla return home for Thursday night’s derby clash with the St George Illawarra Dragons, which Capewell expects to be "a tough battle through the middle".
"It will be a big test for our forwards and it’s a good time in the season to start working on some combinations in the middle and going up against a good forward pack will help us do that.
"They were really impressive [against the Broncos], they played quite well. Hopefully we can just focus on us more rather than what they’re going to be throwing at us and like I said just getting through our sets and play the footy that we know that works and stick to it for the whole 80 minutes."