Sharks' Barrett to shift to halfback - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sharks' Barrett to shift to halfback

By Ben Horne 04/03/2010 05:42:26 PM Comments (0)

Cronulla captain Trent Barrett will start the NRL season at five-eighth but is happy to shift to halfback during the year if required.

Barrett, who is a natural No.6, has been asked to play half plenty of times throughout his career and is confident in the role.

Anthony Mundine played five-eighth during the infancy of St George Illawarra, forcing Barrett to halfback, while the 32-year-old has also fed the scrum on plenty of occasions for NSW.

Ricky Stuart will select Barrett at five-eighth against Melbourne in round one, but with young and unproven talents vying for the other playmaking position, it's possible the 2000 Dally M medallist will find himself taking on extra responsibilities at No.7.

"I don't mind where I play, the roles aren't too much different these days. If we've got players in our side who are pushing to play first grade or we think can bring something to the side, we need to do what's best for the team," Barrett told AAP.

"You do a little bit more kicking and organising at halfback, but it's something I've done plenty of times before so it certainly doesn't worry me.

"I think bringing young kids into first grade and throwing them straight into organising roles can put a little bit too much pressure on them too early."

Scott Porter, who finished last year as halfback for the Sharks, is expected to partner Barrett to start 2010, with Tigers recruit John Morris the other option.

Exciting teenager Albert Kelly won't start the year in the NRL - but when he gets his chance, he's the kind of attacking five-eighth who could push Barrett in closer.

"He'd handle it," Barrett said of Kelly.

"We'll probably wait until further down the track until he gets thrown in there but he'll definitely play a lot of first grade this year.

"We've got some options at the club there (in the halves) now which we didn't have before."

Another player who will look to force his way into the Cronulla halves during the year, is the well travelled Josh Lewis.

After debuting for the Roosters in 2006, Lewis has had stints at the Gold Coast and Balmain.

He had decided to take a year off after failing to secure a full time deal with a club in the off-season but a phone call from Stuart convinced him to give it one last shot.

Still only 24 years of age, the attack-minded Lewis believes he can boost the Sharks' poor try-scoring record.

"I'd like to think so, hopefully I can get up there and play some good footy," said Lewis.

"I guess we'll see how they play and how I play and with injuries and stuff.

"Sticky (Stuart) just said play well, organise well and see what happens. I don't think he's too scared of making changes so if he has to make a change hopefully I'll be able to throw my name up there.

"I'm an attacking player, I like to try things, and I've got a good kicking game so they're my main strengths."

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