Angus Crichton says joining premiers Sydney Roosters has brought no added pressure to his game as the club aims to go back-to-back.
Crichton is the only established Roosters player named to feature in Saturday night's trial against Manly at Central Coast Stadium. It will be his first game of 2019 following off-season shoulder surgery.
The former Rabbitohs back-rower will captain the young side as the Roosters rest the remainder of the squad that won the World Club Challenge ahead of the round one clash with South Sydney on March 15.
"I'm ready to hit the ground running," Crichton told NRL.com on Friday from the Central Coast.
"I'm around four and a half months post operation, so feeling good. I've been doing contact for the last month and ramped it up the last two weeks to make sure I get some solid minutes tomorrow coming into round one."
Crichton travelled with the side to the United Kingdom for the World Club Challenge but knew the trip wouldn't involve any game time.
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"It was a dream start to join the Roosters, going away on that trip and getting to know everyone a bit better," Crichton said.
"I think having everyone packed in together for 10 days is a great way to get to know all the boys and what makes everyone tick.
"When you know more about people it's easier to play good footy alongside them.
The way that I did leave I wanted to make sure I was upfront and honestAngus Crichton on his Rabbitohs exit
"I wasn't sure what I was walking in to but since I've been here no one has talked about winning the comp or wanting to go back-to-back but rather what we can do to improve as a team.
"That's only going to help my game with no added pressure from within. There is a lot of great players here and I'm looking to work with them and improve myself."
Crichton said joining a side aiming to be the first since 1993 to go back-to-back has been a smooth transition.
His South Sydney departure was anything but though, and he's expecting a hostile reception when the two arch-rivals clash in the opening game of the season.
"For it to be against the Bunnies with the rivalry on top makes it extra fiery for myself," Crichton said.
"I guess everyone will be coming after me. I think I'll have a target on my head for sure but I'll embrace it and play some good footy. It'll be fun to play my old teammates, they know my weaknesses and I know theirs.
"The way that I did leave I wanted to make sure I was upfront and honest," he said.
"I'm happy that I did go the way I planned to. I did everything in the right way and didn't hide anything from anyone.
"It's up to them [Rabbitohs fans] what they want to think of me and how they treat me but the thing is after all that I can still sleep well at night which is important."