St George Illawarra speedster Matt Dufty has revealed that rookie five-eighth Jai Field would probably beat him in a 100 sprint.
Field's call-up to replace injured playmaker Corey Norman has added even more speed to a Dragons side that has scored two of the tries of the season so far in the past two matches through Dufty and the electric fullback is excited to be re-united with his former under 20s teammate.
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"I have played probably over 100 games with him so I know what he can do and everyone in the club knows what he can do, and how exciting he is," Dufty said. "He is just ready to go out there and show everyone else."
While fans marvelled over Dufty's 60-metre solo try against the Sydney Roosters on Anzac Day at the SCG, Field first came to the attention of most NRL supporters with a length-of-the-field effort against Manly at the 2017 Auckland Nines.
"I've got him over 40 but he's probably quicker over 100 metres," Dufty said.
The pair came through St George Illawarra's junior ranks together and terrorised opposition teams in the 2016 National Youth Competition, combining for a total of 38 tries between them.
Dufty scored 23 tries in 22 matches, while Field crossed for 15 tries and they each made 22 line breaks. In addition, Dufty produced 22 try assists and Field made 19, while the Shellharbour junior also kicked 76 goals.
"I don't know if there was a competition, there probably was because we compete about everything but he is definitely someone I am excited to play with again," Dufty said.
"He's excited, he played a few games a couple of years ago and I think he has matured since then. He is not just all about those fancy plays, he is about the one-per-centers now and he does what he needs to do to win footy games."
Field played three NRL matches in 2017 and two last year but has had to bide his time for a chance in the starting team.
At the start of last season, he and Dufty were vying for the St George Illawarra fullback role but a series of injuries related to Field's weight increase from 72kg to 85kg proved a setback.
The signing of Norman has required Field to maintain his patience but the loss of the star playmaker with a fractured cheekbone has given the youngster the chance to play alongside Ben Hunt in the halves.
"Fieldsy is one of those players you want in the team because he can break games open wherever he is playing," Dufty said.
"I think with Hunty coming to the club and now Normy this year it has been a bit hard but he has been a bit patient, he has trained hard and he has worked hard and now he has got his opportunity."
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