Brett Morris is preparing to triple his defensive workload and draw on lessons learned from some of the game's best centres following Billy Smith's devastating ACL rupture.
Smith is facing his second knee reconstruction in 18 months after a seemingly innocuous collision with Joey Manu during a Monday afternoon training session.
The 20-year-old's latest devastating injury will cost him first crack at replacing Latrell Mitchell on the team's left edge, with Morris now the likely candidate for the red, white and blue No.3 jersey.
Morris's decorated resume boasts two premierships, 18 Tests, 15 Origins and 252 games but only six of those have come at centre.
In the 33-year-old veteran flyer's time as an elite winger and fullback he has averaged just five tackles a game.
Regular centres such as Manu (13.5 tackles a game), James Roberts and Kotoni Staggs (14.2) shouldered a much heftier workload on average through 2019, and a shift in-field could result in Morris being targeted as a potential weak link in the Tricolours' famed watertight defence.
Morris has played outside some of his generation's best defensive centres in former Dragons teammates Mark Gasnier and Matt Cooper, as well as his own brother Josh.
The Roosters have been linked to Storm star Josh Addo-Carr as he pursues a return to Sydney on compassionate grounds, but club officials are insistent they will not go to market to replace Smith.
Morris said he would relish the challenge, particularly the defensive aspect, of a positional switch in the twilight of his career.
"I'm comfortable anywhere, to be honest," Morris said on Wednesday.
"You've got to do the training and have that base there so that if an injury happens, [you can] put your hand up to play in that position.
"I've played a lot of football outside a lot of quality centres and I've been able to pick their brains and work out what their mentalities are around certain defences, certain field positions and what they like to do.
"I feel like I understand the game quite well, know how to break teams down with their structures that they throw at me and it's just one of those things.
"When you get older you actually enjoy being out of your comfort zone. Obviously I haven't played a lot of centre and it's one of those things you've got to do week-in, week-out, you've got to nail it.
"Being an older player you enjoy that a lot more rather than being in a position you're comfortable in."
Skipper Boyd Cordner endorsed the depth in Trent Robinson's squad, which will also bring injured Englishman Ryan Hall and Matt Ikuvalu into contention for a start on the wing.
But asked about the links to Addo-Carr – whose release from Melbourne is contingent on the Storm receiving compensation or a "like-for-like" player swap – Cordner pointed to the Test winger's infectious personality as well as his billing as one of the NRL's elite finishers.
"Not only as a player, his ability and his footy speaks for itself," he said.
"Just being around him and what he brings to the club, it's enormous. He'd be an asset to any team he goes to."