Center or flyhalf? That’s a big question around Roland Suniula, and a question that quite possibly doesn’t have an easy answer.
Suniula has played 10, 12 and 13 for the USA, moving into the flyhalf role for the 2011 World Cup. But he’s a running flyhalf, not a kicking flyhalf, and new USA Head Coach Mike Tolkin is known to want a strong kicking game in his inside backs.
Suniula knows this, but at the same time, one other player projected to play flyhalf for the USA, Toby L’Estrange, was injured during the Super League Final.
“At the moment It’s always been my preference to play inside center,” Suniula told RUGBYMag.com. “But I have been learning the flyhalf trade. I want to be more flexible, because you don’t always get a choice.”
Suniula said the kicking game has been “hugely” important to him this spring as he gets ready. He removed himself from a 7s contract to play flyhalf for the Chicago Griffins for that reason.
“It’s why I took time off 7s,” he explained. “There’s always more skills to develop and something you can work on. I felt it was important.”
The talented and versatile back also doesn’t expect a starting job at any position to be handed to him.
“You can never expect it to be the same, especially with Tolks in as coach – it’s a different culture. A lot of things are the same, but some things are different. You always want to treat your being invited to camp as your first, and like you’re competing for a job. Having those new faces come in and that competitive culture, it keeps you honest. It’s not just every assembly or every camp, it’s every day.”