It seems the competition for the Wests Tigers fullback spot isn’t a two-horse race between the two “Shannons” in 2009 writes Gavin Fox.
Pocket speedsters Shannon Gallant and Shannon McDonnell have been fighting it out for the coveted role left open by former Tigers captain Brett Hodgson – but it seems coach Sheens has yet another option tucked up his sleeve.
The talented Wests Tigers rookie who has almost been a forgotten man in recent times, is a player usually seen as a centre or five-eighth – but is set to come into calculations for the Tigers custodian spot.
Moltzen has shown plenty of ability in the past and hasn’t disappointed when called up into the top grade.
Coach Tim Sheens is set to gamble on Moltzen at fullback, in a bid to squeeze the rising star into the Wests Tigers first grade side – he’s named Moltzen at fullback for this weeks trial against Shellharbour in Wollongong on Friday night.
The move could prove a masterstroke by Sheens, with Moltzen having the ideal build and playing style for the custodian role. Similar to Hodgson, Moltzen is safe under the high ball and offers plenty of unpredictability in attack with good footwork and impressive acceleration.
Sheens has been cautious not to throw Moltzen into the first grade fire too early in his career, preferring to blood the rising star at a slower pace. However, if the move to fullback proves successful it makes for an exciting combination of attacking personnel at the Tigers.
Moltzen is a player who can not only spark an attacking raid, but knows how to find the try line. His ability, combined with the strikepower of Benji Marshall, Robbie Farah and Chris Lawrence – could see the Wests Tigers become even more potent with the football in their hands this season.
Tigers coach Tim Sheens has left both Shannon Gallant and Shannon McDonnell out of this weeks trial, but has otherwise named a near full strength Tigers team.
Sheens said at the start of the year, that the fullback spot was still undecided after the departure of Hodgson to the UK Super League side Huddersfield.
Tigers rake and skipper Robbie Farah, who until now hasn’t played in any pre-season hit-outs due to back surgery, will join the Wests lineup for this match against Shellharbour.