By Nathan Davis
St George Illawarra Dragons duo Charly Runciman and Peter Mata’utia are two contenders vying for a starting berth on the vacated left-edge positions in 2015.
The Dragons teammates will be joined by new teammate Dane Nielsen in the competition to certify their name as either left three-quarters or winger.
All players involved welcome the competition aware that the friendly rivalry will bring out each’s respective strengths in what will be an entertaining pre-season.
“Myself and Pete, and also Dane Nielsen, have played a fair bit of left side so we will all be competing for those centre and wing spots,” said Runciman.
“There’s always a bit of friendly competition for the first grade spots, it’s the nature of the beast.
“You work hard together for these positions and it makes everyone a better player because of it.
“At the end of the day Pete and I could competing for a spot or we could be playing together.
“Pete and I have played together several times and we know each other’s game very well.
“It’s good to know your teammates strengths and weaknesses it helps not only your game but the teams.”
Mata’utia seconds his teammate’s thoughts but is also weary of the young talent rising through the ranks at the Dragons.
“We’ve got a lot of young boys coming through the system here like Euan Aitken and Yaw Kiti Glymin as well,” said Glymin.
“Kiti ins particular had a fantastic year on the wing so there will be a lot of competition for the fullback, centre and wing spots.
“It’s exciting as we are all pushing ourselves and each other to achieve our best.”
While he admits that he “hungers” to play in the NRL, Mata’utia concedes that the best player should always be the one running on the field.
“I’ll play anywhere that will be best for the team,” said Mata’utia.
“If that means that I miss out on a spot, then the better player got picked.
“If the team wins the Grand Final then the whole team wins, not just those who played.
“The competition in our squad is going to be better for all of us.
“It’s something our fans should be looking forward to as with the players we have lined up, they will do the job.”