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20 Feb 2018 1:10
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby League

    Wallace: Griffin saved my NRL career

    Peter Wallace has admitted Penrith coach Anthony Griffin had saved his NRL career by moving him to hooker.

    - article from www.rugbyleague.co.nz

    Four years after almost being forced out of the NRL by Anthony Griffin, Peter Wallace has credited the Penrith coach with saving it.

    Both Wallace and Griffin face big moments when they come up against former club Brisbane in Friday night's must-win NRL semi-final at Suncorp Stadium.

    Back in 2013, the relationship between the pair was left in tatters when Griffin, who was coaching the Broncos, told Wallace he would see out the final year of his Brisbane contract in reserve grade unless he found a new home.

    The experience left Wallace irate, having recently knocked back a four-year deal to return to the Panthers, however he eventually went back to the club who handed him his debut in 2005.

    When Griffin was forced out of Red Hill and replaced Ivan Cleary in the Panthers' coaching role for 2016, Wallace again found himself on the outer and came close to moving to Super League in English.

    At the time, the likes of Nathan Cleary, Matt Moylan, Te Maire Martin and Bryce Cartwright were putting pressure on Wallace's halves position and he would be forced out.

    However, in a twist of fate, Griffin, largely out of necessity, asked Wallace to move to hooker after losing James Segeyaro to a broken arm in round one of the 2016 season.

    Nearly two seasons on, Wallace has not only found a home at dummy-half, he says Griffin's left-field selection move has given his career a new lease on life.

    "It's definitely extended my career, no doubt," Wallace told AAP.

    "It was for the best. I'd be headed to England or something like that if I stayed in the halves.

    "Defence - I never had a problem with that. It was an easier transition than some other halves might have had.

    "As you get older, you've got to work hard on your fitness and that. You probably get fitter as you get older."

    A frank Wallace admits the No.9 is a role he had never envisaged filling but is happy with his new position in the team.

    "I wouldn't say I wanted it but it was just the way it happened and, once I started playing there, I really liked it and enjoyed it and realised I had a bit of a future there," Wallace said.

    "It's funny how things work out. Sometimes you get an opportunity and it's whether you grab it or not."


    NZN




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