Hunt and Johnston the right mix
They might have only played two games together on South Sydney's right edge, but Hymel Hunt and Alex Johnston have already developed one of the most potent attacking partnerships in the NRL.
Between them, 22-year-old Hunt and 21-year-old Johnston have scored five tries in the opening two rounds of the 2016 season, and according to the rookie centre their success has been down to Johnston's influence both on the field and at training.
"Me and AJ [Johnston] have a great relationship on and off the field," Hunt told NRL.com.
"AJ has more experience than me. He's always pushing me. He's always helping me with my decision-making because that's been a place where I've struggled in the past few years. I think that's why I'm starting to play better this year.
"It also helps to have players like [Adam] Reynolds and [Luke] Keary coming on the right side. They're the ones who are helping me out heaps. They help me with my game, especially in defence."
Having managed just four games in three seasons for the Titans and Storm, Hunt made the move to Redfern in the off-season and immediately impressed the coaching staff with his work ethic.
After beating cousin Kirisome Auva'a for Dylan Walker's vacant centre spot, Hunt has started the 2016 season with a try in each of his two games for the Bunnies and believes fate could see him add to that tally at the SCG on Sunday afternoon against the Dragons.
"They say things come in threes, so we'll see how we go," the young centre said.
"It's got a fair bit of history here. It'll be awesome and I can't wait to get out there and have a go. I want to do my team proud, do the fans proud, and do my family proud.
"They're a really strong team. The two losses don't define them as a team. We know they'll come out strong on the weekend."
Hunt's partner-in-crime on the right flank is also wary of a Dragons team desperate to register their first win of 2016.
"Whenever we play the Dragons it's a heated battle. We have a great rivalry, especially here at the SCG. I've played here a couple of times, and every time it's been a great game," Johnston said.
"We know if we play our best footy that we're going to win so that's the mindset we're going into each game with."
The 2014 premiership-winning winger has been a revelation for Souths, scoring 41 tries from just 45 appearances since making his debut in 2014.
With State of Origin positions for NSW possibly opening up this season Johnston admitted he'd love to return to the representative scene, having already had a taste of international footy with the Kangaroos last year.
"Obviously playing Origin and playing for Australia is everyone's goal," he said.
"I'd love to do that. I'd love to play for my state and my country, and I'm just focusing each week on playing my best footy, so if that happens, it happens."
Johnston knows the only way to impress state and national selectors is to continue scoring tries for his club, and if his relationship with Hunt continues to thrive that could well be on the cards.
"We've gotten along really well, especially in the pre-season training together. We bounce off each other and help each other out," he said.