Mortimer aims for utility bench role at the Roosters — what does this mean for Aubusson?

Daniel Mortimer is looking to secure the one final slot on the bench. What does this mean for Aubusson? Image credit AAP.

Daniel Mortimer is looking to secure the one final slot on the bench. What does this mean for Aubusson? Image credit AAP.

If you aren’t pulling for Daniel Mortimer to succeed, you don’t have a soul.

Cast out from the Eels following a great rookie year, he’s been struggling to cement a spot in first grade since.

But no-one in Rugby League tries harder than Morts. He trains the house down, does whatever a coach wants and by all reports is a phenomenal teammate.

You want him to succeed, because people who put in that type of effort should succeed.

Look, he hasn’t got the skill set of a Mitchell Pearce so he will never be a first-grade half for the Roosters save for Origin time.

But he might have found his calling, as a utility off the bench filling that back-up hooker/backs role.

According to The Telegraph:

“The majority of my training is still in the halves, but I’m definitely doing more and more No. 9 stuff than I have in years before,” Mortimer said.

“I’m trying to cover as many positions as possible to give me a better chance to play.

“I guess that helps my utility value, playing in the halves a lot. In saying that Nafe is a specialist No. 9 and that’s where you mostly play if you come off the bench. It’ll be tough and I’m sure we’ll both get a chance this year to stake our claim.

“Obviously I’ve been playing a lot in the halves and a lot at hooker as well. I guess that utility spot is a chance for me. I played there on the weekend and enjoyed it. I’m more than happy to pull on that No. 14 jersey and play as well as I can this year.”

Is Aubo the odd man out? Image credit SMH

Is Aubo the odd man out? Image credit SMH

What this means for Mitch Aubusson should he secure that role is uncertain. I had him slated for that role off the bench, but Aubo doesn’t necessarily have that skill set to rest Jake Friend.

Does he become the odd man out?

As it stands, if Mortimer gets the utility role, the bench could look like this:

Moa/Tasi, O’Donnell, Mortimer and Guerra.

I think Guerra needs to be there: he’s far too dangerous in attack not to be in the squad somewhere. They also need a front row rotation, meaning its between Moa and Lama Tasi (injured until Rd 3) for another spot. Luke O’Donnell will definitely be there as well, which leaves just the one spot on the bench.

I’m still leaning towards Aubo getting the spot because he can play centres and forwards with ease — but that means Jakey plays 80 minutes.

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