Raiders speedster Bailey Simonsson plans to avoid "second-year syndrome" as he attempts to secure the wing jersey vacated by Jordan Rapana.
Simonsson impressed despite being shuffled around the backline in 21 games last season. That included a spot on the interchange bench in the grand final.
He represented New Zealand in the World Cup 9s at season's end and was included in the Kiwis' extended Test squad.
Rapana's departure to Japanese rugby looks set to give 21-year-old Simonsson a chance to form a permanent left-side partnership with centre and co-captain Jarrod Croker.
"I played the majority of my games where I started outside Jarrod last year," Simonsson said.
"He's so good to play alongside, such an experienced player, and some of those balls he passes – he's just freakish.
Hailstones greet Raiders upon Canberra return
"I love playing with 'Toots' out there and I've been getting a lot of reps with him on that left edge and working really hard to try and get a combination."
However, Simonsson said there are "no guarantees", with the likes of Michael Oldfield and Harley Smith-Shields also in the frame.
"I'll just keep working hard and hopefully in round one I'm in that spot," Simonsson said.
"I think as long as I keep working hard and doing my role in the team, there's no reason there will be any second-year syndrome."
On the right flank, Nick Cotric is tipped to link with centre recruit Curtis Scott, who won the premiership at Melbourne in 2017.
How the Perth NRL Nines will work
Like the "Leipana" nickname that Joey Leilua and Rapana shared, the new duo already have a joint moniker: "Scotric".
"It's good having him come in. He came in fine, everyone's loving him, he's a good bloke off the field and I get along with him well too," Cotric said.
"He's a great footy player also, he's a good asset to the team."
Canberra resumed training in the nation's capital on Monday after a 10-day camp on Queensland's Sunshine Coast to escape the bushfire smoke.
They were then forced to train indoors when a hailstorm struck.
"I don't think anyone copped it but their cars all copped it," Cotric said.
"A few windshields would be cracked. Whitey [Brett White], one of our coaching staff, he's got a brand new Hilux and there's some dints on there."