CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - MAY 25: Jack Wighton of the Raiders in action during the round 12 NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and the Manly Sea Eagles at GIO Stadium on May 25, 2018 in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

Raiders coach Ricky Stuart is looking to shake up the competition just weeks out from the opening round of matches, with fullback Jack Wighton in line for a move to the halves alongside Aidan Sezer.

Wighton has prepared himself for the positional change, understanding his strength and running ability will allow him to succeed higher up the ground.

“I’ve been doing a little bit of training at five-eighth, I think I’m starting to fit in there pretty well… Aidan will be the steerer and I’ll do the running.” Wighton told NRL.com.

With the loss of Blake Austin at the five-eighth position, Wighton seems the likely candidate to fill the role for season 2019.

“I’m really looking forward to the defensive side of things, I haven’t been in the line tackling and having a bit of fun there for a while.” said Wighton.

“I guess it’s more so just helping Aidan steer the team around and taking a bit of control, keeping calm in pressure situations where we’ve kind of let it slide in the last couple of years.

“I once said I’d never be a half under [Stuart] because he’s a tough judge but it’s going to be good learning all the tricks of the trade off ‘Sticky too.”

Canberra now have a few weeks to find a replacement at the full-back position, with Nick Cotric and Brad Abbey as the likely candidates for the defensive role.

7 COMMENTS

  1. As long as he sticks to the “I’ll do the running” mentality I’ll be OK with it. I loved Austin as an attacking 6 but I gotta say with Wighton there now there shouldn’t be so many holes in the defensive line. Some teams would target Austin cos they all knew how flimsy he was. But if I see Wighton putting in grubbers or going for 40/20s hes going back to FB. Which makes me wonder who goes to Fullback now? The obvious choice would be Cotric…such a damaging player with ball in hand. But Sticky might also go for Abby at FB and leave Cotric on the wing…mmmmm???

    • Sticky has already said that Cotric will stay on the wing, he essentially said he is to good a winger to play fullback. Abbey and Oldfield have shared the training there during the preseason. Rapana has spoken about Oldfield likely taking the wing spot whilst he is injured so this may mean Abbey the most likely. New signing Nicoll-Klokstad has said he will play wherever he is told but he prefers fullback so he may be Abbey’s competition for the spot.

      • I don’t know much about our new signing Nicoll-Klokstad….he must be decent if he’s in the mix already.

  2. Jack is openly Ricky’s favorite. That can explain why Wighton is on about 800k per season. Jack’s off field behaviour would have been a great chance to either save that 800k for a ‘real’ half or greatly reduce his wage. I don’t see the value place on Jack in the side. A good NRL player at most, he has the distinction of having the highest error rate of any fullback in the NRL. But being the favourite must blind the coach. He can only improve the side by moving from fullback. I do believe that one of Ricky’s less ‘favourite’ players by the name of Cotric is an excellent fullback. I’d rather Nick having 800k per season. But lets hope that in 2019 Ricky does finally know whats best for the team. His future depends on it I hope.

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