2022-05-24 00:18:00

St George-Illawarra coach Anthony Griffin has opened up in detail on the call to drop exciting fullback Tyrell Sloan several times, suggesting he won’t be pressured into rushing the 19-year-old’s first grade development.

Griffins use of Sloan has been one of the most intriguing selection talking points of the season so far, drawing plenty of criticism in the process. The teenager played in the first three NRL matches of 2022 but has featured in only one, in Round 10, since.

In that time Griffin has preferred to use veteran Moses Mbye and, most recently, Cody Ramsey at fullback and it appears Sloan will have to bide his time despite exploding onto the scene late last year.

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Speaking in an exclusive NRL 360 interview, Griffin explained why he was being so cautious with the teenager.

“Young Sloan is an enormous talent and obviously this time last year he was playing in the (under) 19s,” Griffin said.

“They all mature at different rates and he’s just taking a little bit of time to really grab onto the NRL.

“He is a young exciting player of the future so it’s the present that we’ve got to care for him and help him get right. It’s not a matter of him just going ‘bang’ … they never do young players. We saw young (Sam) Walker at the Roosters really flatten out at the back end of last year.”

Griffin went into detail about some of the aspects of Sloan’s game that still needed work.

“It’s a tough position fullback. You’ve got to organise defensive lines, catch high balls, it’s an individual position as well as a really important team position,” he said.

“So we’re just helping him understand the really important parts of organising defensive lines, obviously catching the balls under pressure and when he gets that right all that stuff that God gave him, all that natural talent will mean even more.”

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Griffin is renowned for his work developing young players later used the example of playmakers as to how most young players needed considerable time in the top grade to reach their full potential.

“Everyone is impatient and that’s just the way we live these days … football, life everything. Everybody wants to see a 21-year-old be able to guide their team,” Griffin said.

“The closest we’ve seen to that is (Nathan) Cleary and that’s why he’s so special. He’s never been dropped, he came in at 18 and now as a 23, 24 he’s a master of his craft.

“…Think back to (Cooper) Cronk and (Johnnathan) Thurston and Ben Hunt, it took them until they were 23 and the three of them started as bench players,

“… but if they’re good people and they work hard and they’ve got some ability, if you can stick with them they’ll get you somewhere.”

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Source by [graycupnews.com]

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