Wests Tigers playmaker Adam Doueihi says his planned move from fullback to five-eighth in 2021 is made easier by the exciting array of attacking options available to him in the outside backs this year.
Having played just one half of the 2020 campaign at five-eighth — with Benji Marshall off injured in the club's final game of the season — Doueihi's transition back to his preferred number six jumper had been relatively seamless, and made easier by the strong start to pre-season by Joey Leilua and James Roberts.
"I haven't played there [five-eighth] for a few years but I've really started to settle down in the position now and build my combination with Luke Brooks and the outside backs," Doueihi said.
"Getting Jimmy and BJ some early ball is the key for me.
"But I've also been working hard on my kicking game and working hard as a spine to build my combination there. We feel like we've been going good there but there's about five or six weeks until we're on so we'll keep working.
"Those guys [Leilua and Roberts] are two real game-breakers in our team and if we need someone to step up or put a bit of magic on then we know we can look to those two.
"The speed Jimmy has got is a big thing but the way he's been training is great. He's really excited to be on the field and play some good footy and get back to the Jimmy we know.
James Roberts excited for new start at Wests Tigers
"He's looking really fast so the more early ball I can give him and let him take on defenders then I'm sure points will get scored."
Signed together at Wests Tigers until at least the end of 2023, local juniors Doueihi and Brooks will no doubt be looking to form a long lasting partnership in the halves at the club, with the Lebanon international comfortable with the way the pair have been developing throughout the pre-season so far.
"I've always felt most comfortable on the field at five-eighth," he said.
"I haven't played there for a few years but I feel like it's my best position. I played all my junior footy there, U/20's and reserve-grade so I'm very comfortable in the position.
"I prefer to defend in the front-line too rather than at the back so I've enjoyed working hard at that this year. I'm doing a lot to focus on my defence and ensure that it's something I'm doing well as a five-eighth.
Match: Raiders v Wests Tigers
Round 1 -
Venue: GIO Stadium, Canberra
- Nine Network