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Lomax ready to fill Nightingale NRL shoes

St George Illawarra teen sensation Zac Lomax admits he'll have to bide his time to play his favoured fullback position this NRL season.

Lomax ready to fill Nightingale NRL shoes

St George Illawarra teen sensation Zac Lomax admits he'll have to bide his time to play his favoured fullback position this NRL season.

ZAC LOMAX of the Dragons is tackled during the NRL Semi Final match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the St George Illawarra Dragons at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia.
ZAC LOMAX of the Dragons is tackled during the NRL Semi Final match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the St George Illawarra Dragons at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia. Picture:Photo by Matt King/Getty Images

St George Illawarra youngster Zac Lomax craves the centre stage but admits he might have to wing it to play NRL this season.

The retirements of club legend Jason Nightingale and exit of Nene Macdonald have left major holes on the flanks for coach Paul McGregor to fill in 2019.


And while Lomax impressed at centre in Euan Aitken's absence in last year's final three games, the 19-year-old concedes he might have to bide his time.

"I'd like to be able to play centre but, at the same time, you've just got to do what's best for the team," Lomax said on Thursday during a school visit.

"Whether 'Mary' wants me to play wing or centre, wherever he likes me, I'm happy to play wherever. I'm not too fussed."

With Aitken and Tim Lafai being a staple of the Dragons' three-quarter line for the past three years, Lomax might not have a choice.

"They've been good for the last 3-4 years that they've been there, so the spot's not going to be given to any of us," Lomax said.

New faces Lachlan Maranta and Jonus Pearson join Jordan Pereira and Lomax as wing options. Pereira finished last season in the No.5 jumper.

Lomax has trained in both spots over the pre-season but admits they are vastly different positions to master in the modern game.

"The winger can play a role like a front-rower at the back end of your field, taking a lot of hard carries," he said.

"Where (at) centre, you tend to get a lot of early ball and you just try and beat your opposite centre one-on-one and find a quick play-the-ball.

"I'm more confident at centre than I am wing, but I've just been trying to learn the game as a winger a little bit better than I already am."

While content to bide his time on the edge, the Illawarra junior admits his long-term goal is to play in his favoured fullback position.

Skipper Gareth Widdop is expected to shift to that role this year after Corey Norman's arrival, with Matt Dufty another candidate in the future.

"I'd like to play fullback down the track but, to be thrown into fullback at a younger age, is more of an ask," he said.

"I'm confident at centre, wing or wherever, but I come through the junior ranks playing fullback and you have your hands on the ball more than on the edge."

AAP


AAP




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