Tough task for Gillett

HE HAS played one game as an NRL five-eighth. His team lost and he struggled. Now, Matt Gillett appears the man given the unenviable task of replacing Darren Lockyer.

Gillett, one of Brisbane's best young prospects - but known primarily as a back-rower - was surprisingly played at five-eighth, replacing an injured Lockyer, against Parramatta in round 23 last year. And now, according to Broncos coach Anthony Griffin, he will move back there again to replace the most experienced player in the game's history - and attempt to take the Broncos through to an unlikely grand final spot.

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It appears an almost impossible task. Gillett was hardly convincing when he said after the Eels' match last year: ''To be honest, I'd rather be playing in the second row … I've played some five-eighth in Queensland Cup but it's a totally different thing at NRL level. I found it pretty difficult, there's a lot more pressure there in the NRL.''

There will be even more pressure on the team, and him, tomorrow night against Manly. But those who have coached Gillett, last year's NRL rookie of the year, at five-eighth, maintained last night that the 23-year-old would hold his own in the position.

Kevin Carmichael, the coach of the Norths Devils Queensland Cup team of which Gillett was a member in 2009, said he would stiffen the Broncos up defensively. And he said Gillett would hold his own with the ball in his hand - as long as he did not overplay his role.


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