Key to Mansour's incredible form
If the Kangaroos side was picked today, Josh Mansour would be one of the first players selected.
Injury-free for the first time in years, the Panthers winger has been in imperious form in 2016 to skyrocket to the top of the charts as the best winger in the NRL.
Mansour's numbers in recent weeks have to be seen to be believed, with the recently re-signed winger running the ball for 1,083 metres, breaking 50 tackles and scoring five tries in his last five games.
Just last week, Mansour ran for a season-high 266 metres from 24 carries, scored a double and produced a staggering 15 tackle breaks against the Warriors.
He now sits at the top of the Telstra Premiership leaderboard with 102 tackle busts, is ranked second with 3,097 metres and is third with 17 line breaks.
Nothing has changed physically from the start of the season, he explained, but now that he's an Origin player, the Panthers flyer feels more responsibility to deliver on the field.
According to Mansour, making his State of Origin debut earlier this year is the biggest reason behind the sudden surge in form, and his numbers certainly back that up.
Mansour crossed for four tries in the first 11 rounds of the season, but has scored in every game bar one since donning the sky blue jersey for the first time back in June.
"Being selected in that kind of arena builds your confidence, and to come back to club level, you have to be an example to the rest of the team," he told NRL.com.
"At the beginning of the year I always wanted to inspire the boys through my actions, and I think me being in Origin has helped me achieve that.
"To be selected in Origin is a privilege and a huge honour, and something that you can't take for granted.
"I've worked really hard to be in this position, and I'd like to show my teammates that if you put in the work, you can achieve the highest honours in the game."
At 26-years-of-age, and with just 80 NRL games under his belt, Mansour is one of the most experienced players in a Penrith squad that is brimming with some of the hottest up-and-coming talent in the competition.
That was one of the main reasons behind his decision to recommit for a further two seasons, and having seen the Panthers grow on and off the field, Mansour wants to expand his role with the club.
"We've got a very young squad at the moment, and I'm one of the senior blokes now," he said.
"I'd love to be part of the leadership group. I love giving confidence to the younger guys – and even some of the older guys.
"If that day comes then I'll definitely take it. I've been at this club for five years now, so I'd love to be part of that leadership group so I can give back to the club.
"The Panthers have given me the opportunity to make my dreams come true. I've been here since we had very little, and now we've got a beautiful academy, an amazing board, an amazing coaching staff and a terrific group of players.
"I couldn't have asked for anything more, and I love being a part of this place."