St Helens utility man Mark Flanaganis relishing his recent change of position to halfback, and is hoping that he can help his team to a Grand Final win over Wigan on Saturday.
Saints have endured a long injury list this season, with several players having to fill in in different positions across the team.
“I’m quite a gobby lad anyway, so maybe having my voice heard a little bit more might help the team,” Flanagan said.
“It might help the younger lads in the side. I did play quite a lot of stand-off as a kid, so it’s not totally alien to me.
“It’s not a totally different role to what I was playing previously, really. I’m stil running the ball a little bit.
“I’m probably passing a bit more and thinking more for the side, and helping the other guys steer us in the right direction.
“I think after the injuries we’ve had and the way we’ve had to shift the team around, people didn’t think we could score points, but we’ve had a few new people in the halves, with myself and Jordan Turner – it’s taken a few weeks to adjust to it.
“The last two games we’ve scored points against two good teams in the Castleford and Catalan, who have gone well this season.
“We’re going to have play finals rugby [on Saturday], where you get into the grind, kick well, defend well and take your opportunities when you get them.”
Flanagan, who began his career at Wigan, is looking forward to tangling with his former club at Old Trafford, the kind of occasion he dreamed about playing in as a boy.
“I’m very excited, it’s what you dream about doing as a kid,” he said.
“I’ve been to quite a few Grand Finals when I was younger, and I always dreamt of playing in such a great atmosphere and venue.
“I can’t wait for this Saturday.”
Flanagan is also hopeful that Saints can capitalise on finishing as league leaders, and take their recent good form into the Grand Final.
“All teams set out at the start of the season to finish top of the pile, and then they’ve got momentum going into the play-offs,” he said.
“We’ve certainly done that. It’s a new competition when you get into the play-offs, you start again.
“But we’ve had two good results so far, and it’s going to be a big task on Saturday to beat Wigan.
“They’re a very good side and a very tough team to beat, so we’ll have to be on our ‘A’ game, but I’m sure we can do it.”