Former Canberra fullback Josh Dugan says he is looking to take a leadership role at the St George Illawarra Dragons going into his first full season at the club.
Dugan, who joined the Dragons in mid-2013 amid some controversy after falling out with then Canberra coach David Furner, told reporters that at 23 he now considers himself one of the senior players.
"Personally, I'm looking to stay on the field a lot more and give that leadership role and take control a little bit more," Dugan said.
"Only being 23 I'm still one of the senior guys now. We've got a pretty young side so I think there's a few boys that have played a few games now that can take that role as well."
On-field talk and leadership is a natural part of the fullback position, Dugan added.
"I've always had to take that leadership role and speak up when it comes to certain things; it's really second nature to me now and just trying to use a bit more of my actions rather than words," he said.
Dugan arrived at a media event two weeks ago weighing 101 kilograms and today conceded the extra weight was taking some getting used to.
"Yeah it's a bit heavy, weighing a few more kilos, so just trying to get used to that. It's going good though, all the boys are putting in their 100 per cent and we're getting through the weeks."
The Dragons have a younger side in 2014 following the departure of a raft of senior players including Matt Cooper, Michael Weyman, Jamie Soward and Nathan Fien, and Dugan said the team would be better for it.
"Everyone can improve a lot more, everyone's sticking together a lot more I've found in the couple of weeks we've been together. Everyone's pushing each other through the drills and that sort of thing, it's a little bit tough but everyone's getting each other through it," he said.
Dugan nominated former Rabbitohs outside back Dylan Farrell and Storm and England five-eighth Gareth Widdop as new players he was most looking forward to playing alongside.
"I think me and Gareth could form a pretty lethal combination and I'm pretty excited about it," he said.