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Panthers fullback Tyrone Peachey.

Utilities have become a critical part of the modern game and every club can benefit with a reliable all-rounder.

With several injuries and player movements at the back end of the season, teams have been forced to shift players to new positions, surprising fans along the way.

Playing at fullback is no easy task.

It's one of the more specialised positions in the game and the role has been crafted by some of the competition's elite players, including Billy Slater, James Tedesco and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.

Normally, a fullback is someone who has spent years in that position – but over the past couple of weeks, coaches have been forced to take a punt on some versatile all-rounders to play the critical role at the back.

Here are the seven fullbacks from Round 22 who didn't expect to be wearing No.1 this season but showed their skill by adapting well to the role:


AJ Brimson (Titans)

A half by trade, Brimson was called upon to fill in at fullback against Penrith when Michael Gordon suffered a wrist injury at training.

The 19-year-old had previously played at fullback in the under-20s, but last Saturday's game was the first time he took up the position in the NRL – and he didn't look out of place.

The highlight of his game was pulling off a try-saving tackle on Waqa Blake, barrelling the Panthers centre into touch.

Corey Norman (Eels)

Norman may have spent most of 2013 at fullback but the Parramatta playmaker didn't expect to be back there five years later considering they have the likes of Clint Gutherson, Bevan French and Jarryd Hayne in their ranks.

However, coach Brad Arthur shifted the five-eighth to the back against the Dragons last Saturday and he was solid in an upset win.

Tyrone Peachey (Panthers)

One of the shock positional moves came when Tyrone Peachey was named at fullback to cover for multiple injuries.

The former Shark had played there in his junior days, but had never donned the No.1 jersey in the NRL.

He's now got three games in the new role under his belt and can be very dangerous with extra room to move.

Te Maire Martin (Cowboys)

The Cowboys have had a few fullbacks this season, with regular No.1 Lachlan Coote drifting in and out of first grade.

Utility Ben Hampton spent some time in the role but has moved back to the bench, giving five-eighth Te Maire Martin the chance to fill the position.

A quality youngster with the skill to handle anything Paul Green throws at him.

Wests Tigers fullback Moses Mbye.
Wests Tigers fullback Moses Mbye. ©Keegan Carroll/NRL Photos

Moses Mbye (Wests Tigers)

Before this season, Mbye had played 51 games at halfback, 16 at five-eighth, seven in the centres, five at hooker and one off the bench.

But in 2018 he's spent all his time at fullback – for both the Bulldogs and Wests Tigers.

Will Hopoate (Bulldogs)

Hopoate has spent nearly half his career at fullback but was told in pre-season that he wouldn't be there this year.

Coach Dean Pay had given the role to Moses Mbye, with Hopoate shifting to the centres.

But when Mbye was shipped off to the Wests Tigers, Hopoate reclaimed the No.1 jersey and has been in stunning form since.

Nick Cotric (Raiders)

Known as one of the best wingers in the game, Cotric has been given a chance to fill in at the back with Jack Wighton out suspended.

The 19-year-old played most of his juniors in the centres and on the wing, but is fitting into his new role impressively.


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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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