Jordan Kahu openly admits he is playing for his NRL future.
Since moving from the Broncos to the Cowboys in 2019, he's scored just one try in 15 games although he has been plagued by injuries which have forced him to miss six games.
The 28-year-old former Kiwis international says he's been in talks with "a few people" in an effort to secure his playing future beyond this season, whether that is at the Cowboys or elsewhere. His is also exploring rugby union avenues.
Kahu has played three positions in his 15 games - centre, fullback and five-eighth - and hopes his utility value might bring some appeal to club recruiters.
He knows he only has four games left, with the Cowboys not in finals contention.
"Although I've had numerous setbacks, my body is in a good position where I can still play the top level and I feel like I can still add to the team," Kau said at training this week in preparation for the Knights in Newcastle.
"That's why I've been chucked back in there, because I think Greeny [Paul Green] feels that I can add to the team.
"I'm just obviously trying to build that confidence I had before I got hurt and hopefully finish the year off with a bang."
He confirmed he has held talks with the Cowboys, but wouldn't rule out code hopping to rugby if the opportunity presented itself.
"That's always been an option. I'm a union boy [school days] and I've always wanted to go and have a crack at that.
"It's August already and I wish that [contract] had been locked in, so I'm not too sure where I’m heading."
Spending time in the rehab ward hasn't stopped Kahu from enjoying a little more family time.
"You can either look at being hurt and take the negatives from it but I was looking at the last injury as a positive and I got to spend more time with the family and really focus on what our plans were over the next couple years."
His recovery from the eye-socket injury he picked up in the 15-12 win over the Roosters in round 17 has healed nicely and he’s ready to finish off the year well.
"I thought I'd be out a bit longer, but the surgeon was saying with the eye socket it’s a bit different because it's well hidden, compared to a jaw. I was pretty happy when I found out that I'd only be out for about four to six weeks.
"I just had stitches underneath my eye, but probably the headaches in the first week was the hardest thing and then after that, it's been fine.
“That's the toughest thing about it, feeling alright and not being able to play.
"I think that's the story of my career so far. I'm getting that confidence back and then something sets me back. I'm just glad I can show people that no matter what they face in life you can always overcome it."
Kahu will be on the wing outside stand-in centre Coen Hess.
"He's a big boy so I'll be supporting him every time he runs," Kahu said.
"It's cool to be back on the wing, I haven't played on the wing in a while, wingers touch the ball more than centres do these days. I'm excited to get out there and have a good crack."