The Dragons know that replacing Ben Hornby will not be easy, but St George Illawarra coach believes that the club already has their potential long-term halfback, endorsing utility Kyle Stanley for the role, for when Hornby retires.
With speculation mounting some months ago that Cronk was set to sign with the Dragons, before he signed a new deal with the Storm – the belief was that had he done so, Hornby would have stepped aside and retired.
Now however, it is believed that Hornby will see out his contract, which runs until the end of 2013 – and with very few halves on the market for the Dragons to choose from, Price has endorsed Stanley for that role, one he can be molded into.
“One good thing about Kyle is that he’s got versatility to play fullback, centre and in the halves – but long-term he’s definitely going to be in the halves. That’s his position down the track,” Price said.
Stanley, whose utility value has been on show already this season, having started the year at fullback, before moving to the centres, played a great deal of his junior years in the halves – so he is no stranger to the position.
“We trained Kyle up in that fullback spot the whole pre-season, but Brett was our back-up, along with Jason Nightingale,” Price said.
“When our right centre went down I thought I’d give Kyle a chance to play some minutes.
“He’s done enormously to get where he is â€¦ so I thought I’d take a little bit of workload and pressure off him by putting him in the centres and move ‘B-Moz’ to fullback. I think it’s worked pretty good at the moment.
“Kyle’s enjoying playing there, and over the next couple of weeks, he’s going to be more involved in our plans.”