New North Queensland Cowboys recruit Jordan McLean will be doing everything he can to make sure captain Johnathan Thurston comes away from Friday night's testimonial match against Cameron Smith and the Storm a happy man.
That's despite the fact that the last game McLean played in the Telstra Premiership was for Melbourne, when his side triumphed over the Cowboys in the 2017 grand final.
"I haven't thought about it too much, but it was going to happen at some stage, and I've got a lot of good mates there and a lot of respect for the club and the players themselves," McLean said.
"I'm sure they will come out firing for [Smith] and I'll do the same for JT… I always go out to try and win the game and do my part for my team, so hopefully I can do that."
Despite the significance of the match McLean insists he doesn't have any point to prove, and is keeping the fact that the game is a trial match at the front of his mind.
Plenty of love for Thurston and Smith
McLean is one of the few players in the match to have played with both Thurston and Smith, and is pleased that he's a part of the game to celebrate their contributions to rugby league.
"I've got a lot of respect for both of them, they're both great people and great players… they're champions really."
The forward is a part of what Gavin Cooper described as a "wolf pack" consisting of McLean, Jason Taumalolo and Matt Scott, but the new recruit didn't take to the name as readily as Cooper did, although he is looking forward to playing with his new teammates in the front row.
"I'm pretty excited to play alongside [Taumalolo and Scott], and hopefully we can form a bit of a combination there leading into round one," he said.
"I didn't see anything about [the wolf pack], but if that's what he want to call us he's welcome to."