Roosters edge back-rower Angus Crichton says he needs to use his current time as a middle forward to progress his all-round game.
Crichton broke into the NRL at Souths as a rampaging edge runner, doing so to such great effectiveness he played all three Origins in the Blues' victorious 2018 campaign.
This year he returned to his junior club as a high-profile signing, but his coach Trent Robinson has refused to hand him the guaranteed 80-minute right edge role he commanded at Redfern.
Crichton got just 19 minutes in round one before migrating into a big-minute edge role, playing the full quota or close to it in his next 11 games before a round 15 curve ball saw him asked to adapt to a middle forward role off the bench.
Club veteran Mitch Aubusson has shored up the right edge and Crichton has filled the middle role in three straight games, despite skipper Boyd Cordner missing two, with Nat Butcher preferred in the second row.
"It's been a different experience for me and I've learned a lot more about my role as an edge back-rower having played some time in the middle," Crichton said.
"I'm learning every week and hopefully becoming a better player for it."
Crichton has played just 43, 56 and 37 minutes in those three games; in the first (against Melbourne in Adelaide in round 15) he racked up 42 tackles in those 43 minutes while against the Wests Tigers he amassed 146 metres and 36 tackles, backing it up with another 100-plus metres in the loss to the Cowboys.
"The style the Roosters play, the personnel we have in the team and the coaching staff that we have here, I just trust the whole system here and trust what we're doing here," Crichton added.
"I see my role on the edge in a different light; I'm learning a lot from it and I think becoming a better player for it.
"Having this time in the middle has made me understand my role on the edge a lot more."
Crichton last week revealed some heart to hearts with Robinson led to the bench move, aimed at helping him reignite the form that saw him elevated to the Origin arena in 2018.
"I'm not sure what Robbo's thoughts were putting me in there but he's a world class coach and he's coached a lot of great players and got the best out of a lot of great players," he said.
"I trust him as a coach, I trust the club and the systems we have and at the end of the day I'll become a better player for it."
Crichton hoped the middle role would help him build a more rounded game if and when he returns to an edge.
"For me to have that time on the edge and see how it works here then have that time in the middle and see how it works and how it all connects will give me a broader perspective on how we play the game here at the club and my role in at all and how I can impact the game," he said.