THEY'VE got more than enough NRL runs on the board but soon-to-depart Dragons pair Tyson Frizell and Euan Aitken know they're not guaranteed a start beyond this weekend.
Aitken enjoyed an indifferent 2019 season and was overlooked for round one but has fully rebooted his career since returning to his preferred spot in round five.
The form surge, however, wasn't enough for the Dragons to even offer him a deal for next season, prompting the 25-year-old to link with the Warriors for 2021 and beyond.
A desire to re-sign highly touted twins Max and Matt Feagai was a a primary factor in that call. With finals off the table, fans are clamouring to see Max get an opportunity before the season's out - as coach Dean Young has done with young-gun Cody Ramsey this week.
Young may also have the desire to give Brayden WIliame - who's signed for 2021 - some footy over the final fortnight, while Blues hopeful Zac Lomax isn't going anywhere.
Aitken has a strong desire to see out his time at the club in the top grade but says he'll have to cop it on the chin if Young decides to look to the future beyond Saturday's clash with the Raiders.
"I'd be disappointed not to finish in first grade but I can obviously understand too, they want to prepare for the future," Aitken said.
"At the same time, I always go onto the field wanting to compete and wanting to win and I'm sure I'm playing good enough footy to stay in the side. If they want to look to the future that's their choice, it's out of my hands really, but I'm still passionate about the club until I finish.
"You look at our season and there's plenty of games we probably should've won, we win a couple more of them and it's a different story. Unfortunately we haven't and that's disappointing because I'd love to go out of this club playing finals football.
"I'm very passionate about playing here, I still am, and I want to finish the year on a high. My mindset's always to win so I'll keep doing that."
Frizell was at the centre of a well-publicised bidding war before the season commenced, ultimately committing to Newcastle on a three-year deal from next season.
A Test and Origin mainstay, it's been a long time since he's had a fight on his hands for his spot in clubland. He's unlikely to be shifted, but he accepts a poor performance could change that.
"That can happen in the position that we're in, maybe they want to blood some young guys that haven't been able to play any footy," Frizell said.
"They're training really well and, I think for everyone, if we're not playing well or no doing our job they're not going to be afraid to sit someone out for a week."
Going without finals football is unlikely to cost Frizell his Origin jumper, though the series will look very different this season and will involve re-entering another bubble for up eight weeks.
Players are also likely to cop a hit to their hip pocket but Frizell said neither is likely to see him, or anyone else, turn down the chance to wear a Blues jumper.
"For all us players we want to get the game back to normal financially and, if Origin is going to help with that, match payments aren't a big deal for us," he said.
"I'd love to get out of the bubble, as soon as possible, but if they need to keep us in to train on our own or with a group, so be it. It's not ideal but everyone wants to play Origin footy and I'll put my hand up if that needs to happen.
"Teams will still be playing finals so we don't have an excuse to get out of the bubble. Whatever we need to do we'll do. It's a bit of an unknown, I'm just going to have to be keeping well and fit for as long as I can until we know what the go is there."