MELBOURNE Storm are adamant there is no risk involved in putting Cameron Munster at five-eighth next season.
The club’s football manager, Frank Ponissi, says it is purely a case of whether Munster turns out to be, at worst, a very solid five-eighth, or better.
Munster trained at left centre for the entire pre-season ahead of 2016 before star fullback Billy Slater went down with a season-ending shoulder injury in round one.
The Storm immediately switched Munster to fullback, where he had gone midway through the 2015 season when Slater originally hurt his shoulder.
But now he is being primed for five-eighth by Storm coach Craig Bellamy in the wake of Blake Green leaving the club to join Manly and Slater preparing to return.
“I think the timing is right,” Melbourne football manager Frank Ponissi tells RLW.
“Cameron has got certain qualities that will allow him to handle the position.
“He’s very tough, he’s not going to be scared to put his body on the line in defence and tackle a lot more than he was used to, and we know he’s going to get traffic aimed at him, and he favours the left-hand side, which suits the make-up of the team.
“He’s a dead-set footy player. He’s not one of these athletes who has been turned into a footballer, he’s a footballer to start with, and he loves being around the footy in games.
“We could get him some specialised training, but he hasn’t got a bad halves player to learn the trade from in Cooper Cronk and our talent coaches are doing a lot of work with him as well.
“The young bloke has got a great temperament. Nothing fazes him. I’m very confident he’s going to handle the position and at worst be a very solid five-eighth. How good he’ll be, we’ll have to wait and see, but I don’t consider this a risk in any way.
“He’ll be fine. We just don ‘t know exactly how good he’s going to be, whether it’s solid, very good or outstanding.”