North Queensland Cowboys recruit Jordan McLean may have only played in trial matches for his new club but his combination with one teammate goes back to his teenage years under 20s.
Fill-in fullback Ben Hampton played with McLean for the Melbourne Storm's under 20s as well as in their schoolboy days in Mareeba, west of Cairns, and the pair were roommates during that time.
McLean is looking forward to pairing with Matt Scott and Jason Taumalolo to do some damage up front on Friday night against the Cronulla Sharks, but Hampton will be lurking around the ball hopeful of springing on an opportunity created by his old roommate.
"It's really good to have [Jordan] up here, he's a really good bloke," Hampton said. "We lived together for about four or five years in the time we were down there so we've been best mates for a long time, and played a lot of footy together.
"20s, reserve grade, trained a lot together so we know each other a fair bit… he's coming into the best form of his career so I think he'll definitely add something to our team."
With Hampton's speed at the back the Sharks will need to be on watch for offloads, with McLean's near two-metre frame all but certain to find some freedom at some point in the match.
If it does, Hampton is keen to be the man to seize the opportunity and is confident his knowledge of his good mate's game will help him do so.
"We sort of know each other's game and if I am in that fullback role I'll definitely be hanging around him because he's a big guy and he can get the ball free," he said.
"I can sort of see when he's trying to get it free or if he's just trying to get a quick play the ball for us, it's definitely something me and him can work on, some little combos, but yeah it definitely helps."