Happy to re­turn to back row

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NRL - MICHAEL CARAYANNIS

BRAD Takairangi was al­ways des­tined for re­turn to the back­row well be­fore Jar­ryd Hayne’s ar­rival at the Eels.

Takairangi seemed the un­lucky ca­su­alty of Hayne’s highly an­tic­i­pated re­turn to the Eels, with Hayne tak­ing Takairangi’s cen­tre spot.

But Par­ra­matta coach Brad Arthur out­lined his plans for Takairangi to switch from the cen­tres to the back row well be­fore Hayne an­nounced his Par­ra­matta re­turn.

“Brad and I had a chat af­ter our sea­son ended last year about the switch and I’ve taken it on board,” Takairangi said. “This pre-sea­son has been awe­some. I’ve re­ally en­joyed learn­ing the po­si­tion again.

“It was way be­fore Jar­ryd came. Be­fore Haynsey came, it was a plan to switch me.

“When you’re in the cen­tres you can sit out there and get a cold. I can of­fer a bit more closer to the ac­tion. There is a bit more work in the back- row in terms of re­peat ef­forts. That’s what I’ve been train­ing hard for.

“Hope­fully I can have more in­flu­ence on the game.”

Takairangi hasn’t started in the back-row since 2014 while at the Ti­tans. De­spite ris­ing to be the Ki­wis start­ing cen­tre at the World Cup last year he has no hes­i­ta­tion about the move.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve played in the back row,” Takairangi said.

“I’ve re­ally en­joyed it. Brad’s been rid­ing me dur­ing the pre-sea­son.

“At the time I hate it but I’m thriv­ing un­der it now.”

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