Laffranchi happy to prop up Gold Coast - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Laffranchi happy to prop up Gold Coast

By Ben Horne 22/08/2010 10:55:02 AM Comments (0)

Gold Coast star Anthony Laffranchi admits he'd rather stay at second row, but says he's prepared to move to prop if it means accommodating Greg Bird in the NRL club's starting side.

The Test and NSW State of Origin representative is one of the game's best back-rowers, however Laffranchi was moved up front for the Wests Tigers under similar circumstances in the 2005 grand final.

Coach John Cartwright, whose finals-bound Titans face the Sydney Roosters at the Sydney Football Stadium on Monday night, faces a selection headache over how to combine his strongest side.

Bird is expected to make his return from a hamstring injury against the Roosters, and named on the bench.

Before his month-long layout Bird was playing five-eighth, but the superb form of Mat Rogers in his absence has almost guaranteed the retiring veteran won't be moved out of the halves.

This could see for the former Cronulla star to move to lock where he starred for NSW in the third Origin match.

However, for that to happen Cartwright would have to break apart his tried and tested backrow of Laffranchi, Mark Minichiello and Ashley Harrison.

Laffranchi said he doesn't envy the position Cartwright is in, and happy to give his coach some advice on what to do with Bird.

"I'm sure the water bottles might need to be filled every now and then so Birdy might find a job there, or I keep telling him (to move) up into the front row!" joked Laffranchi.

"We have got a pretty stable back row there with Mini, Harro and myself and we've got a really good combination going, and Matty is playing too good to move him out of No.6 ... but it's a good position to be in.

"When you've got the calibre of Birdy trying to force his way into the team, it's only going to put pressure on guys like myself and bring the best out of everyone."

Laffranchi said he'll do whatever's best for the team and can take confidence from having previous big-time experience at prop.

"It's exactly the same position I was in with the Tigers. We had Mark O'Neill injured and he came back and to make way for him I moved up to the front row.

"I've done it before and my role hasn't changed too much and if that was the case and for the best of the team, then definitely.

"I'd prefer to stay in the No.11 and keep doing what I've been doing in my career here on the Coast, but if I move up the beauty is you bring an Origin player like Greg Bird into the back row which is only going to help."

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