At some point between September 7 and October 6, St George Illawarra captain Gareth Widdop will farewell the fans for the final time.
The worst case scenario presents a quiet exit to a handful of Dragons supporters on the Gold Coast, after missing the finals.
Obviously, the dream would be joining Ben Hornby in the pages of history as a premiership-winning leader at ANZ Stadium a month later.
Certainly, Widdop will be hoping his departure from Australia will be more successful and less messy than his homeland's political push to leave the European Union.
The measure of Widdop's Brexit will be determined by how well he makes the shift to fullback - and the moving parts around it, controlled by coach Paul McGregor.
Even in itself, Widdop's switch is remarkable, bucking the long-running trend of players who move from the No.1 jersey into the halves.
Initially a fullback, Hornby was the levelled-headed No.7 who broke the drought in 2010. Darren Lockyer was Brisbane's Dally M fullback-of-the-year in 1998 and Clive Churchill Medallist in 2000, before winning a third title at five-eighth with the Broncos in 2006.
Widdop already has his own premiership ring as five-eighth in the Storm's 2012 triumph over the Bulldogs and is now trying to do it in reverse in his Dragons swansong.
"Everyone knows i’m going back home at the end of the year, it’s still a long way away, for me," he said.
"Obviously bringing in Corey (Norman) enables the spine to move around a little bit.
"It’s something Mary sat down and spoke to me about, in the end i said whatever he feels is best for the team, I’m happy with.
"I played five-eighth my whole NRL career, I’m a five-eighth, but i’m enjoying it at the back. It’s a new challenge for me, iIve done it before, for England, things like that, it’s enjoyable.
"I think the biggest difference is obviously doing it for 24 rounds, instead of doing it for 6-7 weeks is going to be the biggest challenge."
Widdop's move allows Norman, who arrived from Parramatta amid an old social media video storm, to partner Ben Hunt in the halves.
It also provides McGregor with the flexibility of using Hunt and Cameron McInnes as a dummy-half tag-team, when he can pull the trigger against tiring forwards, with the added firepower of Matt Dufty playing the bench utility role.
Still the Dragons have to shake the reputation for late-season fadeouts, having lost eight of their last 12 to miss the finals in 2017, again stumbling last year, dropping six of their last nine to qualify in seventh.
Widdop has played 185 games in the NRL since making his debut the year St George Illawarra won the title.
The breakdown includes 115 for the Dragons, out of the shadow of Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith.
Cronk won a premiership effectively with one arm last year at the Roosters. Smith won another title at the Storm in 2017.
Another ex-Melbourne superstar, Greg Inglis was part of the South Sydney fairytale in 2014. This is Widdop's final hope.
"There’s no reason why not," Widdop said on Monday.
"Obviously a lot of things need to get right before that, you need to have belief, that’s what we play the game for, to win premierships and we do have the squad to do it."
Flagging his intention to leave last year, Widdop agreed to be part of the upcoming campaign rather than force a hurried last goodbye and put McGregor's plans in disarray. And yet still the Dragons off-season has been anything but smooth.
The rape charges levelled against Jack de Belin have rocked the playing group, as much as they retreat within the club "bubble" and McGregor has enforce an edict they must keep focus on what's ahead on the field. Whatever happens in the de Belin court case, it will drag on for some time to come, the shadow cast.
The NRL's new no-fault policy to stand down players accused of serious crimes, challenged by de Belin in the Federal Court last week, has presented a selection headache.
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McGregor has enlisted NSW forward Tyson Frizell to move into the middle and take on de Belin's defensive workload.
The alternative may well be for Korbin Sims, recruited from Brisbane, to fill de Belin's gap and Frizell to return to the second-row, but the youngest of the famous Gerringong rugby league family is suspended until round three.
But the Charity Shield exposed some major defensive worries for the Dragons, with Jacob Host taking Frizell's place on the right edge and Ben Hunt in combination with Zac Lomax, Euan Aitken and Mikaele Ravalawa.
You need to have belief, that’s what we play the game for, to win premierships and we do have the squad to do it.Gareth Widdop
Perhaps they would have had teething problems anyway, given they are without the experience of Jason Nightingale and Nene Macdonald.
McGregor has offered no excuses, given the Dragons stunned Brisbane 48-18 in last year's elimination final and, without Widdop on the field, lost to Souths in the semi-final, but only after Adam Reynolds kicked three field goals.
"I think we showed that last year," McGregor said after the Charity Shield loss to the Rabbitohs.
"We didn't have Paul Vaughan for the finals series, we did alright without him.
"We lost Gareth (Widdop) going into the second final and we were up 8-2 at halftime until we lost Tariq (Sims). We lost Tariq and still only got beaten by a field goal.
"The same players are still here. No one's changed.
"It's just about now knuckling down and working towards what we need to do for round one. I think the resilience and learnings from last year are pretty important going into a fresh year."
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