Warriors' Carlos Tuimavave unhappy at centre

BEN STANLEY
Last updated 05:00 30/06/2013
Carlos Tuimavave
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COMING OF AGE: Carlos Tuimavave in action for the Warriors.

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The Warriors' eagerness to play standoff Carlos Tuimavave in the centres is creating frustration for the talented youngster, according to the player's agent.

Tuimavave, right, played in the No 6 jumper throughout his youth career at the Warriors but it is understood first-grade coach Matt Elliott sees the 21-year-old's medium-term future as a centre.

He played three NRL games as centre earlier this year and has been forced to play in the same position for the Auckland Vulcans in the New South Wales Cup.

Tuimavave's manager, Stan Martin, said he was getting increasingly frustrated that the former Junior Kiwi and one-test Samoan international wasn't getting a chance to flourish in his favoured position.

"I'm a bit frustrated that Carlos hasn't been given the opportunity to play at standoff in the first grade," he said. "Even in the Vulcans, he wasn't playing there until a couple of weeks ago."

When asked about how he felt about playing at centre, Tuimavave hinted at growing frustrations.

"It is hard, but I'm just focusing on playing in the Vulcans and doing the best I can there," he told Sunday News.

"I obviously came up the grades playing [at number] six, so playing at centre is a bit of a change - and it has been tough for me. But that's football, that's how it goes."

Elliott has repeatedly remarked how impressed he is with Tuimavave's talents, even going as far as comparing him with Raiders legend Laurie Daley.

Daley started off his 244-game career in the Australian capital at centre, before moving to the No 6 jumper - where he became one of the best halves in the world.

Martin made the point that Daley had been a centre coming up through youth grades, rather than moving from standoff to the number three or four jumper, and then back again.

In his eight first-grade games for the Warriors since last August, Tuimavave has played three at fullback, three at centre and came off the bench twice.

His move back to the No 6 jersey for the Vulcans two weeks ago follows the departure of Harry Siejka from the club - meaning it's likely he would still be employed at centre had the former Panthers Under-20s star remained in Auckland.

In his weekly Sunday News column, former Warriors captain Steve Price said he could understand Tuimavave's potential reluctance to move positions, having been in the same situation earlier in his own career.

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However, he believes a first-grade coach always has a player, and team's, best intentions at heart.

"I can understand it if he is a little frustrated but I've been in the position myself," he said.

"I came through the grades as a back rower, and then my coach wanted to play me as a prop when I was 22.

"I didn't like it at all at the time, but you've just got to roll up your sleeves and get into it. It's all good wanting to play in a certain position, but the ... coach isn't trying to make you a worse player."

- Sunday News

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