NRL: Gagai happy to put team first for Knights clash against Parramatta

KNIGHTS star Dane Gagai has made no secret that he prefers playing in the centres.

TEAM FIRST: Dane Gagai is happy to cover at fullback for the injured Nathan Ross. Picture: AAP

TEAM FIRST: Dane Gagai is happy to cover at fullback for the injured Nathan Ross. Picture: AAP

Given his recent statistics it’s easy to understand why. The 26-year-old has carried the ball an average of 165 metres in the past five games and made several big plays.

But with Nathan Ross likely to miss the remainder of the season after breaking his back in the 26-10 win over the Warriors, the Souths-bound Gagai is set to finish his time at the Knights at fulback.

Peter Mata’utia played the final 30 minutes at the back against the Warriors, but Gagai has been named in the No.1 jumper for the battle with an in-form Parramatta at ANZ Stadium on Friday.

“My preference is playing in the centres, but whatever is best for the team, I will do,” he said. “I have played there before and am comfortable in that role. I will do video with the coaching staff and see what they expect from me at the back. Going back there, you have to be confident.”

Gagai’s spike in form has coincided with his return from Queensland Origin commitments, where he was named player of the series.

“Obviously being around those star players gives you confidence coming back,” he said. “Hopefully I can bring a bit of belief here.”

Joe Wardle comes in at right centre and Shaun Kenny-Dowall returns on the right wing for Chanel Mata’utia. 

The Knights are coming off consecutive wins for the first time in almost two years and face an Eels side chasing a seventh straight victory.​

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