Dally M player of the year Jarryd Hayne thinks he has lost the battle to start at full-back for Australia in the Four Nations later this month.
The Parramatta Eels star, who enjoyed a stand-out year for both club and state, has been competing with Grand Final winner Greg Inglis for the vacant number one shirt left behind by injured Billy Slater.
Thanks to Slater’s monopolisation of that position recent years, Hayne and Inglis are often played at centre for the Kangaroos. But, according to Hayne, a lack of depth on the right side means it will be much easier for coach Tim Sheens to switch Inglis to the back than himself.
Indeed, Morris brothers Brett and Josh have been ruled out, as has Darius Boyd.
“Last year, playing right centre, I probably shot myself in the foot there,” the New South Wales star told Fox Sports.
“There’s no depth there on the right side.
“With Dylan Walker and Michael Jennings, they’re all left-side centres. So if you use your common sense, there’s a bit of strength there.”
Coach Tim Sheens refused to commit to either player’s role.
“We’re going to have to quickly form a combination defensively and offensively, that’s the big issue,” he said.
“It will be a test for at least one young player out there on those edges.”
Many believe the best resolution to this issue would be to bring in a new full-back and leave Inglis and Hayne in the centres. Matt Moylan (Penrith Panthers) and Brett Stewart (Manly Sea Eagles) have been tipped for a call-up.