Tigers' Mbye in limbo on NRL starting spot

Wests Tigers captain Moses Mbye says his starting position for the 2020 NRL season is up in the air.
Wests Tigers captain Moses Mbye says his starting position for the 2020 NRL season is up in the air.

Wests Tigers skipper Moses Mbye has built an NRL career on versatility but is still unsure where he will fit into the starting squad in 2020.

Mbye, 26, has spent time training at hooker during the pre-season but his final position remains unclear after utility Josh Reynolds was cleared by the NRL to play while fighting a domestic assault charge.

Reynolds will get his chance to slot in behind the ruck in this weekend's trial against Penrith, while former Melbourne half Billy Walters is also pushing for the position.

"It's good to have some depth, I think most clubs who have been successful over recent years have had really good depth in those key areas so it doesn't change too much for me," Mbye said.

"Everyone is competing for a spot come round one, so it's healthy to have competition."

In 2019, Mbye played at fullback and centre for the Tigers and has played most of his NRL games in the halves.

However, his best option will be at either centre or in the No.9 jersey after a proposed player swap with Melbourne Storm fell through.

The Tigers had hoped to trade outside back Paul Momirovksi for Storm hooker Harry Grant for one season, but the NRL blocked the trade because of a salary cap issue.

It could mean Mbye will return to hooker over Reynolds and Walters, or be moved into the centres, forcing Momirovski to the wing or out of the 17.

There is already a jam of centre options at the club after former Canberra star Joey Leilua joined in the off-season, with Momirovski, Robert Jennings and Tommy Talau jostling for the other spot.

Asked where he would prefer to play, Mbye said: "On the field is good, I don't have a preference really.

"I've spent my career sort of fumbling and bumbling around each different spot, so on the field would be nice."

Meanwhile, Mbye said it would be good to see Reynolds on the field again this weekend after a difficult few months for the former State of Origin star.

"He'll be looking forward to playing a bit of footy. It's a bit of a relief with the cloud hanging over the head whether he could have played or not," Mbye said.

"He's just been enjoying himself and looking forward to playing a bit of footy. It would have been in the back of his mind if he was going to play or not from the 'no fault stand down', it was hindering him a little bit, but it's good to see him smiling."

Australian Associated Press