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Jack Wighton at centre of staggering Michael Ennis call after Souths move

Michael Ennis believes Souths recruit Jack Wighton won't stay at centre in 2024 and instead could move into the halves.

Pictured left Michael Ennis and right Jack Wighton
Michael Ennis believes Souths recruit Jack Wighton won't stay at centre in 2024 and instead could move into the halves or even fullback. Image: Getty

Bulldogs legend Michael Ennis believes star Souths recruit Jack Wighton won't stay at centre for the entire 2024 season, instead of the opinion he will be deployed in the halves or even at fullback. Souths led the 2023 competition after 10 rounds last year but faded badly to miss the finals altogether.

The Rabbitohs snared Wighton from the Canberra Raiders in a huge coup for the upcoming season, where he will link up with mate Latrell Mitchell as the club looks to bounce back from their disappointing end to last season. The club has kept largely the same roster, with the signature of Wighton the only notable addition and Ennis believes he will make all the difference.

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"I have been lucky enough to work with Jack and he is one of the elite players in the game," Ennis told Fox Sports Australia. "He is such a devastating ball runner and just a ferocious competitor. I think he is a huge addition to an already strong roster there at Souths, so no doubt he will add plenty for sure."

Wighton has played the majority of his career at five-eighth, but Souths coach Jason Demetriou has said he will be deployed in the centres as Cody Walker already fills the No.6 jersey at Souths and Lachlan Ilias will remain at halfback. However, Ennis believes at some point this year Wighton will be used in the halves or even at fullback.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 19: Jack Wighton of Australia celebrates with teammate Latrell Mitchell following their side's victory in the Rugby League World Cup Final match between Australia and Samoa at Old Trafford on November 19, 2022 in Manchester, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)
The Rabbitohs snared Jack Wighton from the Canberra Raiders in a huge coup for the upcoming season, where he will link up with mate Latrell Mitchell as the club looks to bounce back from their disappointing end to last season. Image: Getty (George Wood via Getty Images)

"Obviously by the looks of things Jack is going to start at centre, I remember watching Jack play centre as a kid and he was an absolute weapon," Ennis said. "And we have seen what he has done there at Origin level and for Australia. When you have got the strike power of Cody Walker and Latrell Mitchell, who he has already got combinations with it makes sense. But I think as the season progresses it is such a long year and a tough year and the fact he has got that wonderful versatility will help Souths.

"He is able to step in and play five-eighth if something happens to Walker or if Ilias gets hurt Walker can go to halfback and he can go to five-eighth. If Latrell gets hurt he can play fullback, so he is just one of those guys who is so valuable to a team for so many reasons."

Jack Wighton makes shock Origin backflip

Wighton is fully focused on the year ahead with Souths but has also reportedly "made himself available" for Blues selection in a stunning backflip after retiring from representative footy last year. Wighton cited family reasons and the desire to win a premiership at the Raiders as the reason why he stepped away but veteran journalist Brent Read says he is keen to get back into the Blues fold after Brad Fittler was replaced by Michael Maguire.

The new Blues era officially kicked off with 36 players gathering at NSWRL headquarters this weekend for a two-day camp. While Wighton wasn't part of the squad, Reed told Triple M’s The Rush Hour that the Rabbitohs star has rethought his decision to step away and wants to be part of the new Blues team.

"Jack won’t be at the camp this weekend but he has as I understand it said, look if I’m in calculations and you want me I’ll give it some serious thought," he said. "It says about the depth of the camp that Jack isn’t considered a walk-up starter.

"He’s the sort of player (that) I reckon has never let New South Wales down, the sort of bloke we say would always be in a Queensland team because in Queensland we select a bit differently. Interesting that he’s made himself available … It’s a new era, right? He’s a guy who wants to be a part of it and who has rethought his decision."

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