Speedster Alfie Mafi will keep his hold on the Western Force No.15 jumper against Super Rugby champions Queensland Reds in Brisbane on Saturday.
Mafi played full-back for the first time in Super Rugby against the Brumbies last Friday and produced one of the best individual performances in an otherwise disappointing team display in the 19-17 loss.
His kicking game, positional play, willingness to run the ball back at the opposition and ability to beat the first tackler came as no surprise to Force coach Richard Graham.
But it caught out Brumbies coach Jake White.
White had produced a kicking plan specifically designed to target the Force back three of Mafi and wingers Napolioni Nalaga and Nick Cummins.
"We were always going to play on their back three and give them an opportunity to run back, but they probably kicked a lot better, especially Mafi, than we anticipated," White said.
Mafi, who can expect another aerial bombardment from the Reds, had always wanted to give full-back a try. His only previous experience was in a pre-season trial against the Brumbies when usual full-back Cameron Shepherd was not selected and back-up Patrick Dellit was injured.
"I had always wanted to play full-back but I wasn't sure how I would go," he said.
"It took a little while to settle in and get a feel for it but I felt pretty comfortable. I've done a lot of kicking practice."
Mafi made 13 appearances in his first season for the Force, five in the starting line-up.
He played nine Super games for the Waratahs and seven for the Brumbies, but his career has been dogged by serous injuries (two broken ankles and a fractured fibula).
Graham is expected to include Dellit and hooker Ben Whittaker in Saturday's squad.Second-rower Sam Wykes, who has not recovered from a hamstring problem, and Wallabies back-rower Richard Brown, who is still recovering from a shoulder reconstruction, are not expected to travel. DID YOU KNOW? 13 The number of appearances Alfie Mafi made in his first season with the Force
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