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No comfort zone for Hampton

Moving from centre to hooker mid-game is a positional switch very few players in the NRL would be able to handle effectively, but for North Queensland Toyota Cowboys super utility Ben Hampton it's just another day at the office.

In 74 appearances in the top grade, Hampton has never started a game at a single position more than 11 times.

The 26-year-old has started 11 games at both centre and five-eighth, seven at fullback, five at halfback and one at hooker, while his other 39 appearances have come from the bench.

With young gun Enari Tuala banging the door down for a shot at the NRL, Cowboys head coach Paul Green has opted to move Hampton to hooker mid-way through the first half of the last two games and unleash Tuala from the bench to play right centre.

"It has been a little different, but I've been doing that similar sort of stuff for the last couple of years now," Hampton said.

"Getting back in the middle has been a bit tougher. Blokes like Jakey Granville, you have to hand it to them because they have to be so tough to play in the middle because it's such a hard place to play, so that's one thing I need to get used to again."

Prior to Tuala's promotion Hampton appeared to be making the right centre spot his own, but the Cowboys super sub has taken the latest positional shake-up in his stride.

"It has been a little hard to get my head around, but being a utility that's just part of the role," Hampton said.

"You have to be prepared to play out of position and fill in places you wouldn't normally. I'm used to it now and I'm prepared to do whatever the team needs me to do."

As for what his best position is, six seasons into his NRL career and Hampton still doesn't know and finding out isn't a huge priority right now either.

"I still don't know to be honest. I get asked this question three or four times a year," he said.

"I enjoy doing the utility role, it can get a little frustrating sometimes, but as long as I'm doing my job and I'm in there contributing to the team I'm happy.

"I haven't played somewhere long enough to get comfortable enough. The utility role is where I want to play at the moment and that's my job so I'll just keep doing it to the best of my ability."