Manly Sea Eagles hooker Apisai Koroisau has been left "devastated" by the departure of Blake Green, describing his former teammate as someone who would always bring the best out of people.
The Sea Eagles announced on Monday that Green would be leaving the club after just one season, with the 31-year-old linking with the New Zealand Warriors on a three-year deal.
Koroisau, who is in camp with the Fijian World Cup side as they prepare to face Australia in a do-or-die semi-final clash on Friday night, admitted he was shocked by the news.
Although Green only spent one year at the club he and Koroisau quickly became close friends, forming a strong combination in the Sea Eagles' spine to help guide the side to an unexpected finals appearance in 2017.
Manly will now have to find a new five-eighth on short notice, a task Koroisau hoped would be done sooner rather than later.
"I was devastated," Koroisau said.
"I'm not going to lie, he was one of the more liked blokes around the club. He was always happy and always bringing the best out of the boys with his energy around the place. To lose him is pretty tough but hopefully we can find someone to take his place.
"For someone new to come into the club like that and have the effect that he did is massive. We lose someone with his experience, especially his playmaking. He complemented (Daly) Cherry-Evans really well. To have that gone is big but I'm sure we will find someone to fill that role."
And that someone could be Mitchell Pearce after the New South Wales halfback was released from the final two years of his Sydney Roosters contract at around the same time as the announcement on Green's future was made.
Manly were quick to state their interest in Pearce, telling NRL.com on Monday that the club rated him as a very talented player.
That view is supported by Koroisau who said he would love to have someone of Pearce's calibre in the halves at the Sea Eagles in 2018.
"I don't think I've ever met him except for when I've played against him. I've heard he's a good bloke. He's a really good player," he said.
"I know he got bagged for the way he performed in Origin but he was easily the best halfback in the competition for the first half of the season.
"I love the way he controls the game. He really runs the ball to the line. You need a half that's going to take it to the line if you are going to create numbers on the outside.
"I think his kicking game is exceptional as well. He's already had a big career but I think he's got a long way to go as well."