The man who helped turn Cody Ramsey into an NRL player has backed the 21-year-old to step into the Dragons fullback role next year.
St George Illawarra Jersey Flegg coach Willie Talau mentored Ramsey in the under 20s in 2019, identifying the youngster as a future star.
The Dragons No.1 jumper remains vacant for 2022, current fullback Matt Dufty told he will not be at the club beyond this year.
Ramsey has been floated as a potential long-term option, however many have doubted his ability to thrive in the vital position.
More questions were raised after Dufty's man-of-the-match performance in last week's demolition of the Broncos, while Ramsey had one of his toughest outings in the top-flight.
While many fans are clamouring for St George Illawarra to re-sign Dufty, officials are refusing to budge at this stage.
A number of rival clubs are interested in Dufty's services, the fullback touring Canberra's facilities on Thursday, while the Broncos are also circling.
Talau played Ramsey at fullback throughout 2019, the youngster winning the club's Paul McGregor Medal for under 20s player of the year.
"He was a standout," Talau said. "In regards to effort, he was always there. In regards to our team, he had a massive influence on the outcome of most of our games. If you're going to be part of the spine, it's important to be on the ball, looking to bring other people into the game, he did that.
"He can excel as a fullback in the NRL. The thing that stood out to me when coaching Cody was he competes very hard, he wants to learn, he moves well and is brave under the high ball. Being in a full-time environment will only help him."
Ramsey's ascension to the NRL has been a rapid one, the Molong talent spending much of his junior years playing in Western NSW.
He eventually shifted to St George to play SG Ball, rising through Jersey Flegg before making his first-grade debut in round 18 last season.
Ramsey has now played 15 games, including two at fullback while Dufty was injured earlier in the season.
Talau acknowledges it will take some time for the 21-year-old to grow into the role, but said he has the attitude and desire to develop into a star.
"The key to his development is being able to take on criticism, to be coachable and also be prepared to ask for help. He's a really good kid, always respectful and humble, he won't have an issue asking for help. He's a team player, wants what's best for the team and that carries a lot of weight in the first-grade environment.
"In regards to potential, there's so much there. The more he learns, the easier it will become for him to be in the right place. The fact he's prepared to work hard, that's something that'll work in his favour."
Ramsey is non-committal when asked about his NRL future, instead choosing to focus his energy on Monday's clash with the Bulldogs.
He did, however, reveal the man he is tipped to replace, Dufty, has spent the season teaching him the ins and outs of the fullback position.
"Matt's with us for the rest of the year so I'm excited to play with him for this year," Ramsey said. "Then I'll see what goes on next year.
"He teaches me everything, I pepper him with questions. He's taught me a lot, where to position myself, how to count numbers. He's definitely taught me a lot, which I'm very appreciative of."