Hymel Hunt is enjoying life in Newcastle's "love bubble" and doesn't want to leave.
Excited at the prospect of his first game against former club South Sydney at ANZ Stadium on Friday night, Hunt will line up at left centre as the fourth-placed Knights chase a sixth straight win.
The Auckland-born 25-year-old, whose career has included stints at the Gold Coast and Melbourne, left Souths to sign a one-year deal with the Knights last November but is keen to stay longer.
"I think my manager is sorting that out. I just said to him I just want to focus on my footy, and that's what I've been doing since I got here, so I don't want to change anything," Hunt said on Thursday.
"If anything more comes from it, then he'll let me know, but I want to stay at the Knights as long as I can. I love it here, I love the playing group, I love all the fans, the club, the town, everything.
Rabbitohs v Knights - Round 13
"We always joke around in the team ... saying it's our love bubble. We all love each other, like we're a family of brothers."
Hunt enjoyed his three seasons at the Rabbitohs but said the Knights were the tightest team he had ever been a part of.
"It's very similar. Obviously, we made the finals last year at Souths but this is probably the closest group I've ever been involved in, definitely, and this is probably the best footy I've played," he said.
"It's obviously showing now with all the boys, being in the top four, but the ladder doesn’t mean anything to us at the moment. We've just got to play our best footy."
Hunt said he left Souths on good terms and has been bantering with some of his former team-mates in the lead-up to the top-four tussle at Homebush on Friday.
"They knew I wanted to come here … so they gave me the option, but I just thought it would be a great opportunity to come here and I’m very glad I came here," he said.
"I've been losing sleep the last few days. I've been super-excited, and obviously talking to a few of the boys that I know really well, copping some flak both ways."
Hunt expects to line up against James Roberts, who has rejoined the Rabbitohs after being released by Brisbane, but is also prepared to mark Origin I man of the match Dane Gagai.
"It probably will be 'Jimmy the Jet'. He's obviously an awesome player and I can't wait," he said.
"I'm excited and I’m up for the challenge if it is, or if it’s 'Gags'. Either way, I'm good mates with Gags and I can't wait. I'll pull his hair when I'm in a tackle, so I'm excited.
"I'm pretty close with Damian Cook and I was giving him some flak this week so I'm pretty sure he'll be playing … but we'll see what happens. Whether their Origin players play or not, I'm sure they'll still be a great team and we can't underestimate them."