Arthur looks to spark Eels by switching Norman and Gutherson
Brad Arthur has launched a last ditch bid to resurrect the Eels' nightmare season, shifting the out-of-form Corey Norman to fullback in the hope of reigniting his campaign.
The Eels are hoping the freedom of playing fullback will provide Norman with the confidence needed to reignite his season and that of his team, with Clint Gutherson moving back into the No.6 jersey he filled for stages last year.
Norman hasn't been able to find his mojo this year but Arthur is hoping that a change of scenery could by the catalyst for a form reversal this weekend.
"We want to give Normy the freedom to do what he does best," Arthur told NRL.com.
"It's not a massive change. It's just a subtle difference to where we're at," Arthur said.
"But at the end of the day it's not the problem - it's something a bit fresher for us. The problem is we have too many bad moments in chunks. We lose concentration for 5-10 minutes and it's hurting us."
The reshuffle, which sends Gutherson into the halves alongside Mitchell Moses, will only intensify speculation over Norman's future at the club.
NRL.com reported last week the Eels had been in conversations with rival clubs about releasing Norman, but nothing has eventuated given the mammoth contract he has signed until the end of 2019.
Arthur wouldn't be drawn into speculation when asked if Norman's shuffle meant he was on the outer.
"He's contracted here to 2019, just like me," Arthur said.
"That's all I know. He's contracted until the end of next year and so am I. At the moment we're thinking what's best for the team and everyone is happy to do what's best for the team."
The Eels have been pondering the idea of shifting Norman to fullback for weeks and last Friday's loss to the Warriors was the final straw.
"We're going to try something different," Arthur said.
"Why not? Gutho is coming off his knee [surgery] and we've been happy with what he's been doing, but we get a chance to see what he can do in the halves.
"I've spoken to all three of them [Norman, Moses and Gutherson] together. We're going to try this see how it goes. We trained with it yesterday and they're all sweet with it. It's just a different look."
Norman has been a shadow of the player he was last season, struggling to rekindle the combination with Moses they started midway through last year.