Australia full-back Billy Slater has signalled out his former Melbourne team-mate Gareth Widdop as England’s main threat ahead of this Saturday’s World Cup final.
Widdop started his career with Melbourne juniors as a full back, but has now switched to stand-off because of the presence Slater posseses in the number one jersey.
Widdop made the move to St George Illawarra four years ago, and has been such a success since the change in position, that he was named the Dally M stand-off in 2017.
Despite success in the role at domestic level, Widdop has found himself playing in his old full-back role with England, and has been pivotal in England’s surge to the final.
“Gareth is just a natural footy player,” Slater said. “He can play anywhere really. As long as he has got the ball in his hands, he is going to be a danger to the opposition.
“He’d always had this sort of potential. We all know what Gareth Widdop is capable of.
“He has got a running game but is more a skilful passer of the football. He poses a threat out the back and distributes the ball on to his outside men.
“Being aware of where Gareth is at all times when they are attacking our line is probably key for us. He is a big indicator of where they are going to go. He is probably their strike weapon.”`