Newly signed St George Illawarra recruit Bronson Harrison has begun eyeing Beau Scott's vacated spot in the second row. But the 27-year-old knows that wishful thinking alone won't make his vision a reality.
Harrison ended weeks of speculation yesterday by confirming a two-year deal with the Dragons, after a "frustrating" and injury-riddled final season at the Canberra Raiders.
A fearsome ball-runner with a dangerous off-load, Harrison is eager to show his wares during the pre-season and potentially stake a claim for Scott's No 11 jersey, following the latter's departure to Newcastle in the off-season.
"Of course, but first things first: I've got to try and get on top of the body and put in a good effort and train hard to earn a spot in the trials and work from there," Harrison said.
"I'm not too sure on what the plans are for me. But yeah, it does help that Beau has left a hole open there. I'm sure the young guys will be fighting for the spot also and I dare say it's not going to be given to anyone."
Harrison was formally released by Canberra last week with two years remaining on his contract; the combined result of injury, form and surplus players.
Shedding light on a run of ankle, back and facial injuries which limited him to just 10 games this season, the Kiwi international hoped his ill-fortune and subsequent turnaround would reap big rewards in 2013.
"Getting through adversity is probably the biggest thing I've learnt: keeping positive and sticking to your guns," Harrison said.
"I've been dealt some harsh blows but I'll learn from it and it will make me stronger. Nothing's really a guarantee in this game, so I've got to try and make sure I put my best foot forward for every game."
He is expected to continue injury rehabilitation for several more weeks, with the hope of joining his new teammates in drills and fitness before Christmas.
It's understood the former Raiders co-captain will be an important member of the Dragons' senior leadership group, in the wake of Scott, Dean Young and Ben Hornby's departures.
Pressed on what distinguished the Dragons' offer over those of other clubs, Harrison said: "The opportunity. Plus they've got so many good things going for them - a good squad and the coach seems like a really good guy."