Fien time to breathe fire in Cowboys' face
DRAGONS utility Nathan Fien says he will do whatever it takes to convince coach Steve Price that he should partner Jamie Soward in the halves, when his side faces off against the Cowboys in tonight's trial match at Barlow Park.
The 33-year-old will start at No. 7 for the Dragons, a position he is familiar with during his earlier playing days at the Cowboys.
"With the retirement at the end of last season of Benny Hornby, he's opened up a door for me to get back into the halves," Fien said.
"It's something we've been working on in the off season," he said.
"Sowie and I have played together a number of times over the last few years I've been at the Dragons."
Fien said he would relish the chance of playing halfback against a Cowboys team widely touted to make the top four this season.
"It's a really good challenge for us, being the first hit out of the year," he said.
"From my point of view, there's an opportunity there to cement a starting spot, which is what all players want to be in.
"I guess it's (the game) going to see where we are coming off the back of a disappointing season last year."
However, Fien admitted he would be facing stiff competition from 20-year-old Dragon recruit and former Manly halfback Josh Drinkwater, who is expected to come on for the Dragons in the second half.
"These young kids have really busted their butt in the off-season and really deserve an opportunity as well," Fien said.
"I think Pricey's really keen to have a look at everyone and see what they bring to the team."
Acting as a mentor to a young Dragons forward pack, Fien said he could provide a cool head and strong kicking game to take the pressure off Soward.
But if he doesn't make halfback, the Mount Isa Brothers junior said he would be happy in any role within the team this year.
"I've played a lot of footy now and been around a while, so if it means that I have to transition back that utility player into a hookering role then it's not a big issue for me," he said.
"I guess the ball's in my court now to get out there and direct the side as I know I can do."
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Keen to play halfback: Nathan Fien in training at the Dragons' home ground in Wollongong. Picture: BRETT COSTELLO