Nicho Hynes is using Jahrome Hughes’ success in the halves as proof two former fullbacks can combine as playmakers at Cronulla.
Hynes will play his second game for No.7 for the Sharks on Saturday night against Parramatta, again combining with Matt Moylan in the halves.
Both Hynes and Moylan began their NRL careers at the back, with Moylan a young star at Penrith and Hynes filling in for Ryan Papenhuyzen at No.1 for Melbourne last year.
Many questioned over the summer how the pair could work together, or if Braydon Trindall will return at No.6 in place of Moylan when a suspension ends next week.
But it’s also not lost on Hynes he has just left a system that won a premiership and minor premiership with three original fullbacks playing at No.1, No.6 and No.7.
“Down in Melbourne we had me Paps, (Cameron) Munster and Hughesy who were all fullbacks,” Hynes told AAP.
“Playing fullback will benefit me being in the halves again, learning different things.
“You see what you want from a halfback. I could see what it meant when Hughesy or Munster passed me the ball early or at different times.
“Now I’ll know what Will (Kennedy) will want or Moyza will want.”
Hynes has been at pains to point out this summer he started his rugby league life as a halfback, playing most of his football there before making his NRL debut.
The 25-year-old was happy with his first-up start for Cronulla, helping to plan the attack in the 24-19 loss to Canberra.
Defence remains his biggest challenge and he fully expects to be targeted by the likes of Junior Paulo against Parramatta on Sunday night.
The other challenge for him is learning when to run and when to organise.
“I was probably more of an organiser,” said the former Central Coast junior.
“But when I played fullback I learned to be more of a runner.
“I want to be a running half and an organising half. I have to sometimes pull back on running so I can set up for my kick.”
This is where Hughes comes in, having gone from heir to Billy Slater’s fullback throne to one of the game’s best halfbacks.
“You’d be silly not to look at what Jahrome did,” Hynes said.
“Other than Nathan Cleary he was the best half in the competition last year.
“It gives me a lot of confidence that Hughesy played fullback most his life and he has transitioned into halfback really well.
“If it’s sitting down and watching how Hughsey transitioned I’ll do that.
“I’m good mates with him, so I can pick up the phone and ask him and he’ll give me answers.”