Nick Meaney during the round two NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and Canterbury Bulldogs at AAMI Park on March 11, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Grimes/Zero Digital Sports)

Playing in the fullback role in the absence of Ryan Papenhuyzen, Nick Meaney has admitted he is open to switching positions to be a bench utility when Papenhuyzen returns.

Since joining the Melbourne Storm at the beginning of last season after stints with the Knights and Bulldogs, Meaney took over the role of being the club's 'Mr Fix-It', a role that was previously held by Nicho Hynes before his departure. The 'Mr Fix-It' role has seen him ply his trade in multiple positions, most recently in the number one jersey due to the injury of Papenhuyzen.

Although Papenhuyzen is easily the first-choice fullback at the club, Meaney has been incredible this season and has been having a breakout year. This has seen him score ten tries and 82 goals, provide ten try assists and manage an average of 146 running metres per game to go with 79 tackle busts and eight line breaks.

While no direct decision has been made on the availability of Ryan Papenhuyzen and his projected return, he will likely be back for the finals. He has played for the Sunshine Coast Falcons in the Queensland Cup for the past three weeks since returning back to the rugby league field.

"Craig sort of spoke to me about when he comes back, whether there's that role coming off the bench, or keep my spot at fullback," Meaney told the AAP.

"He's spoken to me about just playing my best footy, try and learn each week, get better each week.

"I knew that coming down here that Paps was here (as first-choice fullback). I'm there to do my best job for the team, no matter where that is."

NRL Rd 24 - Storm v Roosters
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 26: Nick Meaney of the Storm is tackled by Sam Walker of the Roosters during the round 24 NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the Sydney Roosters at AAMI Park on August 26, 2022, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Taking his game to another level this season, Meaney has credited Storm legend Billy Slater and Kobe Bryant's 'Mamba Mentality' for his success.

"He just sort of talks about the little things that you probably don't think about; body position in defence and most importantly, just mentality things," Meaney said.

"Just fight for everything.

"I try to have what I like to call the 'Mamba Mentality' that Kobe Bryant used to have," Meaney added.

"He was ruthless, he never stopped. He took things personally as well, I feel like that's what our team needs.

"We need to take things personally sometimes and get that old Melbourne grit back. Craig likes to call it 'mongrel dogs'. That's what we need to get back to doing each week."