Internationals Toopi's chance at fullback

warriors4life_old

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From nzherald.co.nz

By Michael Brown

For a player once considered the world's best centre, Clinton Toopi will have an opportunity to stake his claim as a fullback when the Kiwis take on Great Britain on Wednesday morning (NZT).

Kiwis coach Brian McClennan has said he will approach the game with development in mind and is keen on building options at fullback in a bid to find a back-up for Leeds-bound No 1 Brent Webb.

It won't be totally unfamiliar for 26-year-old Toopi, considering he began his NRL career at fullback in 1999 but was shifted to the centres by former Warriors coach Daniel Anderson in 2001.

"We're very fortunate to have Brent Webb because he is an exceptional player but the idea is to give Toopi the chance to play in that position to get him back up to speed," McClennan said.

"We also want to help him get back in the groove [after missing games for the Warriors], which might help kickstart things for him again.

"He's always worn the black and white jersey really well so he deserves backing from the Kiwi selectors."

Toopi's form has been erratic of late as he wrestled with offers to play in the UK Super League.

He eventually signed with Leeds but has still struggled to make the bench at the Warriors.

McClennan has shrewdly couched Wednesday's test as a development game because he's a little apprehensive about what might happen.

"We're getting a group of players together at the drop of a hat and giving them two training runs together," he said. "I think it would be very unrealistic to expect the team to run out and do amazing things with that preparation."

In contrast, Great Britain are near full strength and have had a series of training camps together in the lead-up to the match.

McClennan gathered the remnants of his original 22-man squad on Wednesday night for a dinner before the squad reassembles tonight after the weekend's round of Super League action.
 

warriors4life_old

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Let's hope for Toopi's sake that he plays a lot better at fullback than he has lately at centre.
 

commonsense_old

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whats wrong with motu tony?? he is a pretty good fullback. i think he currently plays there for his club.
 

JonB_old

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commonsense said:
whats wrong with motu tony?? he is a pretty good fullback. i think he currently plays there for his club.

We are hoping for a greater reward by plaing him at fullback, personally I like the move if Motu can play 9, and Vinnie Anderson plays in the centres.
 

Esoj_old

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mid-season one off tests suck. I hope we do win but in reality great britain will proabbly win easily. good test for development though.
 

warriorfaithful*_old

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Esoj said:
mid-season one off tests suck. I hope we do win but in reality great britain will proabbly win easily. good test for development though.

I reckon the kiwis will win. But if they dont i dont think great britan will win it EASY.
 

warriors4life_old

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warriorfaithful* said:
Esoj said:
mid-season one off tests suck. I hope we do win but in reality great britain will proabbly win easily. good test for development though.

I reckon the kiwis will win. But if they dont i dont think great britan will win it EASY.

Well according to Brian McClennan it will be a "minor miracle" if we win, and he has gone as far to say "if we win it will be a bigger achievement then winning the Tri-Nations final last year." I think that last quote is a bit off though, we were such big underdogs for the final last year, and that was playing for a trophy, not just a one-off test.
 

Esoj_old

Guest
warriorfaithful* said:
Esoj said:
mid-season one off tests suck. I hope we do win but in reality great britain will proabbly win easily. good test for development though.

I reckon the kiwis will win. But if they dont i dont think great britan will win it EASY.

seriously mate I hope we win too but 2 training sessions and a depleted side can only do so much. great britian will be almost at full strength as I understand it and they should win this easily. bluey is using this test to develop some players and try a few things.
 

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