New Penrith captain Matt Moylan will get his first taste in the halves as part of a strong 32-man squad for Saturday’s NRL trial against Canterbury.
Coach Anthony Griffin has left no stone unturned in his first match in charge at the club, calling on almost his entire squad for the clash, with only injured pair Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Andy Saunders not considered.
All Stars Jamie Soward, Tyrone Peachey, Leilani Latu and Trent Merrin also won’t be playing.
But Moylan’s 20-minute stint at five-eighth will be of most interest as Griffin considers finally caving-in to his highly-anticipated move to the halves.
The 24-year-old will play just 40 minutes in total in what also marks as his comeback from a serious ankle injury that ended his 2015 season in May last year.
“Obviously being in the front line at five-eighth I’ll be doing a bit more defending so that’s probably going to be the only difference for me,” Moylan said on Friday.
“It’s something I have been working on over the off-season so to get out there during the pre-season and play will be good.
“I just want to get out there and play some good footy. I haven’t played for that long so I’m just trying to find some form and build the season from there.”
The City Origin representative shrugged off comparisons to Brisbane legend Darren Lockyer, who switched to five-eighth only after winning the Golden Boot award as the best player in the world in his eighth season.
Moylan is in just his fourth season.
“To be compared to someone like him is massive. I think he’s one of the best players who has ever played the game. I’m a long way from that,” he said.
“I’m only starting out and want to get out there and play some good footy. I never really read too much into it. I knew I was only early into my career, and was more focused on cementing a spot in first grade.”
New recruits Peta Hiku, Ben Garcia, Andrew Heffernan, Sitaleki Akauola, Te Maire Martin, Suaia Matagi, and Viliami Kikau all get their chance to impress ahead of the upcoming season.
Penrith open their season against Canberra on March 5.