Hampton stakes his claim for fullback role
Competition is intense for a starting spot in North Queensland Cowboys coach Paul Green's side for round one and Ben Hampton put his name forward in the loss to the Wests Tigers at Barlow Park in Cairns.
The utility played at fullback and was one of the home team's best, appearing on the inside of Johnathan Thurston throughout the night to worry the Wests Tigers' defenders, as well as backing it up with strong defence, including more than one try-saving tackle.
Hampton said he was happy in a Mr Fix-It role as long as he's contributing to the team, but is confident he could adapt to the fullback position with more training.
"I've been doing a little bit of training there ... I suppose if I train a bit more there and see how I go in the next couple of weeks, we've got another trial next week, it might become my preferred position," he said.
"At the moment I'm still doing that utility role where I fill into a couple of different spots and that's still my job at the moment.
"I'm just doing what I'm told and doing what Greeny wants me to do and that was play fullback tonight, so I'll just keep working with the team and hopefully force myself in there somewhere."
Green was happy with Hampton's performance, particularly in defence.
"I thought he played pretty well, he was very busy, good speed and has probably come up with a couple of try-savers there too so not too bad," Green said.
Although he played at fullback against the Tigers, Hampton is likely playing to maintain his utility role, which Green has historically used to give starting hooker Jake Granville a breather.