Veteran winger Brett Morris couldn't have hoped for a better start to his Roosters career, scoring a hat-trick in a World Club Challenge win, and now he has his sights set on a prized second Telstra Premiership ring.
From being told to move on from a Bulldogs side hampered by a major salary cap squeeze last season, the former Blues and Kangaroos flanker got the perfect outcome when thrown a lifeline at Bondi.
A veteran of 18 Tests and 15 Origins, Morris brings plenty of quality to a backline that has lost premiership winner Blake Ferguson but compensated with the signing of Morris and English Test powerhouse Ryan Hall, who will miss the first two months of the season on his way back from a knee reconstruction.
"To get the opportunity to play in the World Club Challenge, I was just excited to play some footy and obviously the result and a couple of tries was a bit of a bonus," Morris told NRL.com.
"It's exciting, the season ahead. It's been a long pre-season coming to the club as a new player. I started back in mid-November when a lot of these guys were still on holidays enjoying the grand final victory."
Given his standing, and the ongoing knee issues that have restricted his training in recent years, Morris could have been be entitled to a later start to pre-season, but he says it was never a consideration.
"I was more than happy to come in and start training. I'd already been off for a while not playing finals so it was nice to get in and do some training and meet the new people at the club," he said.
"It's probably the best I've felt in a long time. I haven't had any issues with the knee at all this whole pre-season.
"We've got a really good high performance team with Travvy [Travis Touma], our speed coach Rubin [Ruzicka] and our strength and conditioning coach Patty Lane as well.
"Everyone has done a really good job of managing the off-season for me. I've been in the gym doing lifts that I haven't done in I can't remember how long.
"I'm in a really good spot physically. I think we saw that in the World Club Challenge. I'm feeling strong, powerful and fast and I certainly think that the training we've done has certainly helped."
While Morris has spent most of his career as one of the best wingers on the planet, he accrued a few seasons as a fullback at the Dragons and Bulldogs and further displayed his versatility as a centre against Wigan, a trait he said is important right across the Roosters squad.
"I've played a lot of different positions in the backline and always felt comfortable wherever I've played. I've always had the mentality of doing whatever's best for the side," he said.
"I've mixed it up to be honest, I've trained all over the backline so it's been good. Some days I might train in the centres, next day a bit at fullback and obviously on the wing as well.
"To me it's enjoyable, learning different skills and positions is always fun and keeps you on your toes. If anything was to happen to any of the guys you know there are options and back-ups and you have to be ready to go.
"With rep footy there could be times in the year we're without [players] and blokes need to step up in those positions. I had a taste of left centre in the World Club Challenge and tried to go out there and not let anyone down. A lot of the guys in this squad can play multiple positions in the backline and if they're called upon they'll step up and do a job."
Morris is a different style of player to the departed Ferguson and didn't anticipate trying to replicate what Ferguson produced in 2018 on his way to topping the NRL run-metre charts.
"Obviously Fergo and I are very different players. He's a fair bit bigger than me which certainly helps with those carries out of the backfield but it's something that doesn't faze me, I'll be trying to help out where I can," he added.
"That's part of the role these days, you've got to adapt and do the best you can. I've been around a long time, I know a few of the tricks and I'll be doing my best."
With plenty of pundits tipping the Roosters to break the premiers' hoodoo and go back-to-back, Morris said it was a huge part of the incentive to join the club and it would be up to he and the other recruits to match the standards already in place at the club.
"It's obviously the ultimate goal, every player wants to win competitions," he said.
"It feels like forever ago that I won one (in 2010 with the Dragons). It's one thing I want to tick off before I finish playing footy, is to win another competition.
"These guys are obviously fresh off winning one but that doesn't hurt their hunger or desire or drive to strive for more success.
"The guys that have come in, we want to do a job, we don't want to let those guys down. We know the high standards they have so for us we have to come in and uphold those standards and strive to be better."