Ferguson to partner Kenny-Dowall on right edge
One of the more fluid backlines heading into the new NRL season is that of Auckland Nines champions the Roosters, but Four Nations star Blake Ferguson is settled on forming a right edge combination with Shaun Kenny-Dowall outside him.
Both Ferguson and Kenny-Dowall are just as prolific on a flank as they are in the centres, while Ferguson started the previous year at fullback following Roger Tuivasa-Sheck's departure.
New buy Michael Gordon has come as a fullback but is a handy winger and while young gun Latrell Mitchell needs to find a spot, his positional play at fullback is still working up to NRL level and he could fill any other position in the three-quarter line.
Speaking as he headed into Indigenous All Stars camp, Ferguson said he was settled in the centres.
"I think I'm playing in the centres this year which is pretty good. I've put on a bit of weight so I'm happy," he said.
"I'm settled on centre, the way we've built our team my best position for our team is in the centres with 'Skidsy' [Kenny-Dowall] on the wing so that will be good."
The only completely locked-in spot looks to be that of Daniel Tupou on the left wing but there are a number of up-and-comers also vying for those spots, including Johnny Tuivasa-Sheck and breakout Nines sensation Bernard Lewis, while proven first graders Joseph Manu and Dale Copley could be the unlucky ones to start the season in reserve grade.
Ferguson was coy as to how the rest of the backline would shape up however.
"I'm not sure, they [Gordon and Mitchell] have both been training everywhere so you never know. We'll see in Round 1 I guess," he added.
With almost a month back into training following an extended off-season break due to representative commitments, the player of the tournament in last year's Four Nations was prepared to declare his run last November as the best form of his career.
"It would probably be the most consistent and probably the best I've played consistently. I've played some good games but that was consistently good and I'm looking to build on that and trying to take my game to the next level," he said.
"It is [a good platform] but I know you can't just come back in and do that, that was after a big long year and I was match fit so I'm looking forward to building the year from this game and building up to having a good mid year and back end of the year."
His off season hasn't been as relaxing as it could have been, with he and partner Bianca welcoming their second child.
"[The off season] was enjoyable; I enjoyed having a bit of time off. I had my second baby so I've been pretty full on over the break and now back into training so we've pretty much haven't stopped," he said.
"It's good the boys won [the Auckland Nines] on the weekend.
"We can take a lot of confidence out of it but we don't want to get too overconfident because it's a long year and things can happen, it's about getting things right, getting our defence right and enjoying the year and taking everything as it comes."