Dane Gagai is happy to start on the wing for the Rabbitohs, but prefers playing in the centres. Picture: Phil Hillyard
Dane Gagai is happy to start on the wing for the Rabbitohs, but prefers playing in the centres. Picture: Phil Hillyard

Rugby league’s most formidable right edge

It's state election week and Dane Gagai finds himself on the right wing - but there will be nothing conservative about the South Sydney star's ­approach to try-scoring.

Gagai will line up on the same side as Greg Inglis, Adam Reynolds and Sam Burgess in what shapes as one of rugby league's most formidable right edges.

After helping defeat the Sydney Roosters last Friday night, the Rabbitohs' right side is now ­focused on their next opponents - St George ­Illawarra on Thursday evening at Kogarah's ­Jubilee Oval.

Gagai started alongside Inglis in round one for the first time in his career. When representing Queensland, Gagai usually plays right, Inglis on the left.

With such class on his inside, Gagai is preparing to score a plethora of tries this season.

"It will be fun to see what happens over the next couple of weeks," Gagai said.

"This is the way Wayne sees is best for the team at the moment.

"You've got Sammy there, he's obviously known as a bit of an enforcer and aggressive player, and so is Greggy. Then you've got the cool head of Adam Reynolds.

"You know what you're going to get from Greggy, that's a competitive, aggressive big strong athlete. He definitely allows me to focus on what I have to do for the team because I know he will turn up and do everything he can to get the win.

"It's up to me to make sure I'm doing everything right and not let him down. If I have to play on the wing the whole year, then so be it.

"It's about working on the combinations are getting things right at training.

"I thought Adam controlled the game (against Sydney Roosters) really well. He showed why he is one of the best kickers in the game. His kicking game was unbelievable."

While the right edge combination is expected to be retained for the Dragons game, Souths coach Wayne Bennett does have plans to eventually push Inglis back to fullback at some stage this year with Alex Johnston to wing and Gagai back to the centres.

"I do prefer playing in the centres but if I was doing that (waiting for the move), I wouldn't be doing my job," he said.

"I do look forward to getting back to the centres but this (playing wing) is my role for the team and all my focus is going to go into that. If my head was elsewhere, I would be letting the boys down straight away.

"And that's something I don't like living with that. I don't like looking the boys in the eyes and saying that I haven't given 100 per cent."

Souths and the Roosters engaged in a feisty game at the SCG. The 80 minutes was full of niggle, scuffles and sledging. The 111-year rivalry is alive and kicking.

"I think it's good - it brings the fans into it," Gagai said. "It's a competitive sport, that's the nature of the game. Everyone wants to win, things happen, calls aren't going to go your way.

"We didn't go out there with a game plan to try and spark anything or get under their skin. People can look at it how they want but there were a few little things done on their part to get a reaction from us. Like I said, it's a competitive game and people are going to get frustrated. It's up to us to use that frustration and aggression in a positive way."