Marshall backs Lolohea move to No.1

Nov 28, 2017 - 4:32 PM Benji Marshall has hailed Tui Lolohea's World Cup campaign and says he shapes as the answer to the Wests Tigers' fullback conundrum.

Marshall described Lolohea as being Tonga's second best player, only behind powerhouse forward Jason Taumalolo, during their dream World Cup campaign which ended after Saturday's heart-breaking semi-final loss to England.

Playing at five-eighth, Lolohea guided Mate Ma'a to within touching distance of a dream finals appearance.

While his kicking, fifth-tackle options and game management was sometimes lacking during the World Cup, his explosiveness and game-breaking ability was on show.

After playing in the No.6 position since his mid-season arrival at the Tigers this year, he is expected to move into fullback next season to cover the loss of James Tedesco.

"I think he's had an outstanding World Cup," Marshall said of his new teammate after watching him closely as part of the Channel 7 World Cup commentary team.

"There was always going to be a lot of pressure around how their halves were going to go. But you could see the confidence he took into the World Cup.

"For me he was in their top-two players after Jason (Taumalolo). That's exciting for us because I don't think there's many better ball runners in the game than Tui. Hopefully he can bring that back here."

With Luke Brooks, Marshall and Josh Reynolds established in the halves, Lolohea is expected to shift to the back.

Coach Ivan Cleary has options after Kevin Naiqama starred at fullback for Fiji during the World Cup, however winger David Nofoaluma has ruled himself out of contention.

He played 21 games for the Warriors at fullback between 2015-17 and Marshall said he had the makings of a great No.1.

"I don't know who Ivan's got pencilled in for that role. I was assuming he would go back there with Josh coming here," Marshall said.

"He could definitely make the transition and I know he's played there at the Warriors before. He's just one of those guys who can play anywhere really."

Source: AAP

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!