Flanagan has no plans to move Gallen - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Flanagan has no plans to move Gallen

Ian McCullough 17/06/2011 04:39:56 PM Comments (0)

Paul Gallen may have produced one of the all-time great State of Origin front-row performances in NSW's 18-8 win over Queensland, but Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan has no intentions of moving his skipper to prop.

Gallen's barnstorming performance after being shifted from the back-row by Blues coach Ricky Stuart, may have shocked Queensland, but one man not surprised was Flanagan.

The 29-year-old clocked up 211 metres and registered 31 tackles in addition to playing the full 80 minutes as NSW levelled the series at 1-1, but Flanagan said Gallen's display was typical of the form he's shown at the Sharks for the last two years.

"Gal's performance was not a surprise to us as we see it from him pretty regularly, but to see him do it at that level makes me really proud and very happy for him," Flanagan told AAP.

"We don't class Gal as a prop just yet, but whether you put 8, 10 or 13 on his back he doesn't change his performance."

Gallen took over as captain at Toyota Stadium at the start of this season and Flanagan believes the added responsibility for club and state has taken his game to a new level.

"I think over the last 18 months he has developed as a player on and off the field, he knew Trent Barrett was going to retire at the end of last year and he knew the captaincy was probably going to come his way," Flanagan said.

"He started to change and that has been real good for him on and off the field.

"He took up a leadership role and he has grown into it and enjoyed it. He was always a leader on the field but now he is the leader of the team off it.

"I have seen a bit of difference in him since he took the NSW captaincy, but it is more of a determination than anything.

"Rugby league is his passion, that and his family. Rugby league is his life not just his job."

Flanagan also revealed talk of Gallen not being able to transfer successfully to the front-row would have only made the Test star more determined to succeed.

"You tell Gal he can't do something, he will go out and prove to you he can do it, and I think that was the case for Origin," he said.

"People said he couldn't play prop and he went out there and proved them wrong.

"He is determined and stubborn and when he puts his mind to anything he can do it, he is the most competitive person I have ever met."

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