Playing wide helps NRL Burton's playmaking

Matt Burton has revealed how playing centre for Penrith this year can turn him into an even more dangerous playmaker going forward.

DYLAN EDWARDS.
DYLAN EDWARDS. Picture: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Matt Burton claims his time in Penrith's centres can make him an even better half in the long run ahead of next year's high-profile switch to Canterbury.

Burton has been a revelation for the Panthers at left centre in his four games there this year, scoring in each of them and developing into a terrific hole runner.

The 21-year-old kept his spot there last week against Newcastle, with Stephen Crichton moving to the right on Dylan Edward's return at fullback.

Burton will keep the spot against Manly and then for at least the following week's clash with Cronulla before Paul Momirovski returns from suspension.

But until then, Burton firmly believes playing out wide for the first time in his career will help his game as a half.

"As a half you can see what they're looking for outside me," Burton, who remains committed to the Bulldogs for next year, told AAP.

"It's good to see that being in that role and playing in that role that I can take out of the halves.

"And just getting to know the game a lot better too will help, just with being in a different position ... it helps my confidence.

"It's a lot different to defending as a half. There's a few little principles you have to work on."

What the Panthers do with the most talked about youngster in the league beyond round 10 remains a mystery.

The fact they have let Brent Naden go to Canterbury shows how highly they rate Momirovski, and he is expected to regain his spot in the backline.

Burton though has shown he is too good for reserve grade and while he will fill in for Nathan Cleary during State of Origin is hopeful he can find a spot somewhere.

"There's so much talent in the team and so much depth," he said.

"I just have to keep working hard and hopefully knuckle down a spot."

Meanwhile Penrith shape as an entirely different team on their return to Bathurst since their last time there in 2019.

They were flogged 32-2 by Melbourne there on that night, with Edwards monstered by Cameron Munster under the high ball at the back.

"That was a difficult night for me, but I'm better for it," Edwards said.

"It took me a while to get my head around it but eventually it definitely gave me a better way to look at it.

"I had to change the way I went about the game mentally, I had to put a few things in place to help me get through setbacks."