DRAGONS rookie Tristan Sailor has made plain his intention to re-sign with the club claim for the No. 1 jumper next season after an impressive NRL debut on Saturday night.
Saturday's clash with the Roosters proved a baptism of fire for the 21-year-old, with the defending premiers producing a 28-0 first half blitz.
It put the result to bed by halftime but Sailor was one of the lone bright spots for coach Paul McGregor, grabbing his side's first try midway through the second half and never looking out of place in the top grade.
Having been a regular as 18th man for the best part of 10 rounds on the back of solid form in the Canterbury Cup, Sailor was happy to be thrown in the deep end.
"I always say everything happens for a reason and I've waited a bit for the debut but it came I got to play 80 minutes in my preferred position," Sailor said.
"I found out [I was playing] on Tuesday but Mary said he was naming me 18th man just to keep the media and some of the external pressures off me.
"Either way would've been fine, I'm used to it by now. I've learned to block [the attention] out pretty well, but it was good to just train without an external pressures and just focus on the game."
"I just wanted try and get runs, make my tackles and do it all hard and with intent. We didn't get much ball in the first half but towards the second half I got a few more runs which was good."
Read more:Dragons thumped by red-hot Roosters
It was a debut he wasn't sure he'd get to make this season as the rounds went by but Sailor said coming up against the premiers was the ideal first start.
"I didn't really think about [debuting] at all until I was 18th man for the [round 16] Storm game earlier in the year," he said.
"From there it gave me the confidence that I belong here. I played two games of [Canterbury] Cup last year and felt like I was a boy against men.
"The really strong preseason I had in the gym getting fit and having the whole year in Cup has been good. I've just been patient being that 18th man and focusing on my game in Cup and I was lucky enough to get the debut.
Breezing past the game's premier No. 1 in James Tedesco for his first ever four-pointer was an added bonus.
"To verse the best fullback in the world was really good because it's better to start with the best I think," Sailor said.
"I went through and he was coming across and I managed to step back [past him]. He tried to hit the ball out, I thought he was going to get it, but it was a really good feeling to get that try."
It may prove a one-off, with Ben Hunt set to return from concussion against the Tigers next weekend. It will likely see Corey Norman shift back to fullback.
The picture will look a whole loft different next season, with Gareth Widdop departing for the Super League and Matt Dufty reportedly on the outer.
Currently off-contract, Sailor expects to pen a new deal with the club and will set his sights on claiming the No. 1 jumper fulltime next season.
"I'm off contract at the moment but they have offered me a contract so I'm most likely going to re-sign there," he said.
"I don't know what'll happen [next week] because Ben Hunt will be back so whether I play first grade or not. We've got Canterbury Cup and hopefully we can go through to the grand final.
"I'll focus on that and then I just want to have another really strong preseason and stake my claim for that No. 1 spot if I can.
"Its just about me just focusing on all my performance stuff, continually training well, and hopefully I get rewarded with a spot."