He has gone from one of the first picked each week at the Gold Coast Titans to a stop-gap solution at the Brisbane Broncos, and David Mead admits it has been a rough transition.
Joining the Broncos for the 2017 season, Mead was favoured to earn a starting position on the wing, but a strong showing by fellow off-season recruit Tautau Moga saw Mead start the year in the Intrust Super Cup playing for the Wynnum Manly Seagulls.
Since then he has played just eight games for Brisbane, moving from the bench to the wing as he struggled to hold down a place in Wayne Bennett's side each week.
But with captain Darius Boyd out for four-to-six weeks with a broken thumb, an opportunity has arisen for Mead to prove his worth on the Broncos' wing.
Mead will have it tough this week when he starts opposite Melbourne Storm flyer Josh Addo-Carr, but he is ready for the challenge after having been made to work for his Broncos jersey.
"It has been tough to start the season up until now," Mead said of his inability to be a regular in first grade.
"I have had some opportunities to play first grade as well and I've enjoyed those moments, as well as going back to Wynnum and playing for them.
"While I was a regular starter on the Gold Coast I'm still trying to find my spot in Brisbane."
If Mead can perform well against one of the quickest men in the NRL then Bennett may be forced to keep him in the side even when Boyd makes his eventual return from injury.
Whether that is on the wing or on the bench doesn't bother Mead who won't let the pressure of this week's primetime match-up get to him.
"I don't know if I am feeling pressure. I just always want to go out there and do my best and give myself every chance to play first grade," he said.
"Obviously Darius being out gives me an opportunity to do that and I'll be out there this week trying to perform well."
It was a bold decision for Mead to leave the Titans when game time at the Broncos was always going to be hard to come by, especially considering how highly the 28-year-old was regarded by his former club.
But the Papua New Guinea international explained his decision, citing Brisbane's winning culture as a huge drawcard.
"I really enjoy the culture here at the club. It's a winning culture here," he said.
"We have a good bunch of boys here and obviously Wayne is a good coach as well. I'm really enjoying my time here."