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Jamie Foster ready to put hand up for Bradford Bulls full back role
Jamie Foster has declared himself ready and willing to fill in at full back if required this coming season.
The 22-year-old recently joined the Bulls from St Helens on a one-year deal and has adapted well to his new surroundings.
Although a winger primarily, Foster’s versatility gives coach Francis Cummins the option of deploying him at full back should Brett Kearney be pushed into the halves to deputise for the injured Luke Gale.
Scrum half Gale is recuperating after an ankle operation and facing a race against time for the Super League opener at home to Wakefield on February 3.
Foster said: “I played full back for years at Academy level with St Helens.
“It would probably take me a couple of sessions in the week to get a feel for it again. But if Franny asked me to play there, then I certainly don’t think it’s beyond me.
“Fielding the ball and reading the game at full back is not too dissimilar to playing on the wing. I think I’d quite enjoy looking up the middle, sniffing round the forwards and using my footwork to spot an opening.
“At full back you can make things happen, whereas at times on the wing you can feel a little isolated. Even if you’re bang in form, if the ball isn’t coming to you on the wing then you’re just not going to do it.
“I definitely wouldn’t mind the full back role, I really wouldn’t. If Franny asked me if I fancied it then I’d definitely be the first one to put my hand up.”
Kearney enjoyed an outstanding 2012 campaign, weighing in with 15 tries and eight assists as well as proving an assured presence in defence.
Foster says he will turn to Kearney for advice on the role should he be required to play there. He will also speak to former St Helens team-mate and close friend Paul Wellens, who has arguably been the finest full back of the Super League era.
“Paul Wellens is an unbelievable player and one of the best mentors you could ever wish for,” said Foster.
“He’s a good mate of mine. I still speak to him regularly and we play a lot of golf together.
“It’s his approach to his game as much as anything. He doesn’t just wake up in the morning and think ‘I’m going to be full back’.
“He puts in a lot of hard work behind the scenes because there’s a lot that goes with playing at full back – video work that I wouldn’t have to take on board when I play on the wing.
“You have to be aware of everything happening on the field but playing there is something I’d relish doing, without doubt.”