Happy to return to back row
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.”