Morris back in the One
Bulldogs Coach Des Hasler has today named Brett Morris at fullback for the elimination final with the Penrith Panthers.
Morris will shift from the wing to fullback and replace Will Hopoate who will not be available for this weekend’s clash.
Hopoate announced in March that he had agreed with the club at the time that his contract was negotiated that he would not play or train on Sunday’s due to religious reasons.
Brett Morris played fullback for the blue and whites in 2015 and only returned to playing this year in Round 16 after a serious knee injury had kept him on the sidelines since the semi-final loss to the Roosters in the 2015 finals series.
The 30-year-old made an immediate impact in his first game of 2016, with 146 metres, five tackle breaks and three tries.
After joining the club in 2015 and playing 16 games in the number one jersey, Morris finished the year alongside front row forward Aiden Tolman as joint winners of the 2015 Dr George Peponis NRL ‘Player of the Year.’
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In his first season at the club, Brett played 16 games, averaged 142m per game and for the season had 68 tackle breaks, 12 line breaks and scored 9 tries of his own.
Playing in the number one jersey is not anything new for Morris and it's a position he feels comfortable in.
"I've played a lot of footy there so it's not an issue," Morris said.
"The thing with most clubs is guys will train in a variety of positions. You're not just accustomed to playing one position, so a lot of guys in the team have trained in a lot of positions for worst case scenarios if blokes get injured."
Bulldogs hooker Michael Lichaa backed Morris to handle the shift from the wing to fullback.
"B-Moz is pretty handy there so if it does come to that then I'm sure he'll handle it well. You saw what he did last year when he was back there and he was unbelievable,” Lichaa said.
"Obviously we want Hoppa to play, but then again we respect his religion and what he's doing."
The Bulldogs have also named Tyrone Phillips on the wing for the injured Sam Perrett who continues to battle a neck injury.
Phillips will play his fifth game of the season on Sunday and in his four games so far he 2016, the Fijian International has four tries next to his name, including a hat-trick against the Roosters in Round 11.