AFTER back-to-back finals series operating as a wing/ruck, Geelong's Mark Blicavs will settle as a backman again this season.
The 29-year-old trained with the defenders during match simulation on Thursday as Mitch Duncan (calf), Patrick Dangerfield (groin) and Jeremy Cameron (hamstring) sat out.
Blicavs is preparing to fill the void left by the retired Harry Taylor at full-back after being thrown into the ruck from round eight last season.
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The versatile tall has been an All-Australian squad member for the past three years and won his second best and fairest in 2018 in his first complete season as a key defender.
He called defence home for the 2019 regular season before a late switch into the wing/ruck for finals failed to reap rewards.
And last year his mid-season switch to the wing/ruck became permanent even after Rhys Stanley's return from two separate injury setbacks.
"I'm filling it (Taylor's hole) at the moment, training in the backline and playing a lot of defence … (I'm) really enjoying it down there," Blicavs said.
"We're throwing up different scenarios as well for different looks during the year. The plan last year was to play back for the majority of the year and injuries happened so the team shifts a bit.
"You always prepare to play anywhere, wing and ruck as well. But at the moment I'm enjoying playing down back."
With Isaac Smith recruited to play wing, Blicavs expects the former Hawk to keep him anchored in defence with Sam Menegola, Jordan Clark and Zach Tuohy to combine on the opposite side of the park.
"Hopefully those spots are filled and our rucks can stay healthy and really compete against each other at training to cement that No.1 spot," Blicavs said.
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Cameron and Dangerfield completed running sessions away from the main group on Thursday, both touch-and-go for the Cats' practice match with Collingwood (February 26) and AAMI Community Series date with Essendon (March 6).
Duncan was unsighted after injuring his calf earlier in the pre-season but isn't expected to be in any doubt for the Cats' season-opener against Adelaide on March 20.
Forward Luke Dahlhaus (groin) and ruckman Darcy Fort (knee) remain sidelined, while Sam Simpson (shoulder surgery) is still working back to full fitness.