Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett is set to shift star fullback Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow to centre for Saturday night's clash with the Broncos at The Gabba.
With the Dolphins desperate to avoid a fourth-straight defeat when they take on second-placed Brisbane in Round 18, halfback Sean O'Sullivan confirmed the move after Tabuai-Fidow trained at left centre on Wednesday, with Kodi Nikorima at fullback and rookie Valynce Te Whare remaining at right centre.
The reshuffle comes after the Eels scored four tries down the Dolphins' left edge in a 48-20 victory last week.
Dolphins v Eels - Round 17, 2023
Tabuai-Fidow – who has 14 tries in 13 games this season – impressed at centre for the Maroons across the first two State of Origin matches this year, while Nikorima has played fullback for the Dolphins at times in 2023 as well.
"Hamiso has been going unreal at fullback, but just with some of our injuries and how our team is unfolding, Wayne thinks that is the best spot for him at the moment," O'Sullivan said.
"I'm not sure it'll be a long term one, but Hamiso is really exciting and no matter where he is playing he's going to do a job for us.
Hamiso brings a unique skillset and his strengths, not many in the game have what he brings to the footy team.Sean O'Sullivan
"Kodi has played at fullback and has done an unreal job for us when Hamiso was in Origin, so I'm sure that has something to do with it.
"[It's about] trying to get our best 13 on the field for a massive game."
Hammer turns on the jets
After giving up just 17.5 points on average across their first four games, defence has become a major issue for the Dolphins during their current slump and they've failed to hold a team to under 30 points in their last three matches.
O'Sullivan said while that area of the game is concerning, the squad weren't going into panic mode ahead of facing a Broncos side who rank third in terms of tries scored this season.
"Wayne has let us know that it's not acceptable and it's not what we are building at this club," O'Sullivan said.
"[But we are] also trying to stay calm and the world is not burning around us.
"We know how to do it... it's just up to us to bring it on game [day].
"You look at us in especially the first four rounds of the NRL, we really played together and valued looking after our teammates and having each other's backs [in defence]."
Saturday's match will be the second time the Dolphins and Broncos have clashed, with their prior meeting back in Round 4 – a 18-12 win for Brisbane – attracting a crowd of 51,047 at Suncorp Stadium.
Match: Broncos v Dolphins
Round 18 -
Venue: The Gabba, Brisbane