CHANGE OF ROLES: Moses Mbye is set to play fullback after recent seasons in the halves.
CHANGE OF ROLES: Moses Mbye is set to play fullback after recent seasons in the halves. DAN PELED

Mbye looks forward to first foray as Bulldogs fullback

RUGBY LEAGUE: Moses Mbye is eagerly anticipating his first outing as Bulldogs fullback, against the Raiders in a trial on the Sunshine Coast.

After years of plying his trade as half and hooker, the 27-year-old was thrust into the position during the off-season, by incoming coach Dean Pay.

He's intent on making it work and will get his first real taste of it on Saturday.

"I'm really looking forward to it," he said.

"I'm not too nervous about it. I'm quite confident actually."

Aside from a couple of games at fullback as a 16-year-old at the Noosa Pirates, it's unfamiliar territory for Mbye.

But he's relished the transition to the role.

"It's probably the most enjoyable pre-season I've had," he said.

"We've got a really good crew within the club and a lot of great mentors who are helping me learn the new trade.

"I'm excited to apply myself in my first hit-out."

With guidance from assistant coaches Steve Antonelli and David Penna, along with Pay himself, Mbye has been learning the ropes.

"The work-rate has increased and it's the finer things, like the ability to read the game," he said.

"Probably the most challenging aspect of playing fullback is the amount of talking you're doing and setting your defensive line...but it's been really refreshing."

Mbye certainly didn't ask to play fullback.

"Dean's a straight up-and-down coach...he gives you a truth and tells you how it is and he stepped into the club and obviously had a few ideas."

"That was one of them, me going to the back.

"There was no beating around the bush.

"I caught up with him and he was just like 'you're going to be playing fullback this year, see how you go, good luck.'

"I was 'sweet, no worries."

Mbye's simply happy to be lacing up on the elite stage.

"You don't take it for granted when you're playing NRL."

"At that level it doesn't matter what position you're playing in, you ask any kid or person playing the game, you just appreciate being out there.

"You go out there to play good footy and to win games, no matter what jersey you're wearing and no matter what number it has on it, you're happy."

Mbye admits he had an "inconsistent" 2017 and that's something he wants to arrest this year.

"Bridging the gap between those good performances and poor performances, that's what the good players seem to be able to do and that's a big goal of mine, that's for sure," he said.

He'll play in front of family and friends at Sunshine Coast Stadium, at a ground he played at as a junior.

Pay will have his first game as coach of the Bulldogs after four years as assistant coach to Ricky Stuart at the Raiders and Kieran Foran will have his first outing for the Bulldogs.

The match gets under way at 5pm.



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