Teen sensation Zac Lomax is prepared to bide his time on the wing to be part of a Dragons backline brimming with depth and versatility.
Lomax, who played four NRL matches for St George Illawarra last season and earned selection as a centre for the Prime Minister’s XIII and Junior Kangaroos, grew up playing fullback but is third choice at best in his preferred position behind Gareth Widdop and Matt Dufty.
The talented 19-year-old is also battling Euan Aitken, who was last year touted as a NSW Origin contender, and Samoa international Tim Lafai for a centre berth so is likely to be chosen on the wing as Dragons coach Paul McGrgeor tries to accommodate his star backs.
"I would like to play centre but at the same time you have just got to do what’s best for the team and whether Mary wants me to play wing or centre, I am happy to play wherever he decides," Lomax said.
"There are some quality centres there at the Dragons and they have been good the last three or four years they have been there so the spot is not going to be given to any of us."
Lomax open to playing centre or wing
Lomax has been training at both positions, with the retirement of Jason Nightingale and Nene Macdonald’s departure to North Queensland opening up a spot on the wing if he is not selected in the centres.
At 190cm, his height would be beneficial on the wing but he is more comfortable playing centre.
"They are two completely different positions these days and I guess a winger can play a role sort of like a front-rower at the back end of the field taking a lot of hard carries, whereas at centre you tend to get a lot more early ball and you are just trying to beat your opposite centre one-on-one and find a quick play-the-ball," he said.
Kerr’s push to change Indigenous misperception
McGregor, who played 14 Origins, three Tests and more than 150 first-grade matches for the Illawarra Steelers and the Dragons as a centre, has been working closely with Lomax during the off-season.
"He has just simplified my game," Lomax said.
"I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself going into a game and I tend to try to do too much on a play whereas he would just prefer me to find my feet and play the ball as quick as I can."