Melbourne are confident Cameron Munster has all the right attributes to make a successful transition from fullback to five-eighth next NRL season.
With Billy Slater set to return from injury to reclaim the fullback role, Munster will be given first crack at the No.6 jersey vacated by Blake Green who signed with Manly.
While his experience as playmaker is limited to junior football, the grand finalists believe the 22-year-old will be a natural.
“He’s a very good athlete but he’s an out-and-out footballer and that’s why we’re very confident he’s going to make the transition,” Storm football manager Frank Ponissi said.
“He’s certainly got all the attributes – he’s got terrific game sense, he’s very, very tough, resilient and he loves to be in the game which is everything you want about your ball-player at No.6.”
When he was playing with Melbourne, South’s Test superstar Greg Inglis was converted from centre to a five-eighth during the 2007-08 seasons, although never really looked at home.
He did however score two tries and win the Clive Churchill medal in the Storm’s 2007 grand final win over Manly.
“It wasn’t Greg’s preferred position but when he needed to turn on one he could but they are a different type of player,,” Ponissi said.
He believed Munster would have an advantage over Inglis of having a far more experienced Cooper Cronk playing alongside him at halfback, while Slater playing at the back would also assist.
“Cooper’s a different player now to what he was back then,” Ponissi said.
“If you’re going to make your transition from fullback to No.6 at NRL level I couldn’t think of a better halfback to make it with as it will take an enormous amount of pressure off him.
“Cronk such a dominant person and great communicator it will be like having a coach for Cameron on the field.”