Slater unsure Widdop best at one or six

Nov 29, 2017 - 4:33 PM Five-eighth or fullback?

Kangaroos No.1 Billy Slater admits he is unsure what opposite number Gareth Widdop's best position is ahead of Saturday night's Rugby League World Cup final against England.

But the veteran fullback said Widdop would be a danger with ball in hand no matter where he played at Suncorp Stadium this weekend.

Regular pivot Widdop has been a revelation in the No.1 jersey after replacing the injured Jonny Lomax the past three games, helping England reach their first Cup final since 1995.

However it has also caused debate over whether Widdop should also make the switch to fullback next year for NRL club St George Illawarra, where he is captain and five-eighth.

Dragons coach Paul McGregor has already ruled out picking the playmaker at fullback next year, saying the 28-year-old will chime into the halves with new recruit Ben Hunt.

But Slater admitted he wasn't certain where former Melbourne premiership winning teammate Widdop was the most dangerous.

"I don't know if fullback or five-eighth is his best position," he said.

"He's a natural footy player, he could play anywhere really.

"As long as he as has got the ball in his hands he is going to be a danger to the opposition."

Slater got a close look at what Widdop was capable of at NRL club Melbourne.

Widdop played at fullback when he helped the Storm claim the 2009 Under 20s premiership, soaking up as much information as he could from Slater.

He blossomed into a five-eighth in his four Storm seasons, proving the perfect foil for halfback Cooper Cronk and claiming the 2012 NRL title.

"He was a key player for us down there," Slater said.

"We all know what Widdop is capable of.

"He is their strike weapon. We need to know where he is at all times.

"He's a big indicator of where they go (in attack)."

Source: AAP

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