Veteran Rabbitoh Bryson Goodwin admits he never thought he'd return to the NRL once he headed to Warrington at the end of 2017 but Greg Inglis's shock retirement at the start of last year set the wheels in motion.
Souths reached out to Goodwin following the inspirational skipper's shock retirement call just two games into 2019.
The mid-season swap never panned out but conversations continued and when Goodwin couldn't come to terms with Warrington over a new deal, a surprise NRL return was born.
"I never actually thought I'd come back when I left last time but here I am," Goodwin told NRL.com.
"There was talk when Greg left, the club was interested in me maybe coming back mid-season last year and it sort of progressed from there.
"We couldn't agree on a few things at Warrington and I had to make my mind up if I wanted to stay there or come home and it just sort of presented itself.
"I just had to make a decision really and we made the choice to come home and that was that."
The 34-year-old was impressive on the wing in the Maori All Stars' 30-16 win over Indigenous All Stars last weekend but knows he faces a tough task to add to his 176 NRL caps over 11 seasons with Cronulla, Canterbury and Souths.
"We'll just have to see how we go, it's a red hot backline," said Goodwin, who left Souths at the end of 2017 after five seasons and 99 games with the cardinal and myrtle.
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"There's a lot of depth in the squad as well, a lot of good players. We'll just see which way the coaching staff goes. We don't really know until a couple of weeks when the team for round one is picked."
Goodwin has been named in jersey 18 for a near full-strength Rabbitohs Charity Shield line-up but doesn't expect most of the players backing up from All Stars to play huge minutes. He is happy to bide his time and take his chances when they come.
"I just need to be ready when I get a chance, you never know what can happen," he said, adding he had floated between centre and wing at training.
"It's always a very long year, it's not very often the team that's playing round one is the team that's playing at the end of the year. It's a long season."
While Souths still have experienced players in the backs such as Dane Gagai and James Roberts, Goodwin's experience is a value add for a club that has lost a fair bit in the past 12 months.
"We lost a lot – Sam Burgess is gone, John Sutton's gone, Greg's gone. That's three pretty big names around the club," he added.
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"If I can do my part with the younger guys and do my bit, with me being around for a while now, definitely [that will help]."
Goodwin said hasn't looked beyond his current one-year deal.
"I've got no idea what I'm doing next year or even if I want to play next year. We'll just see how this year pans out, try and play as many games as I can and see where we go from there," he said.
One thing he knows he will need to adapt to is the more structured style of the NRL compared to the Super League, sounding almost nostalgic when he spoke of the free-wheeling style players are afforded in the northern hemisphere.
"In the Super League it's a lot different, you can chance your hand a lot more," he said.
"In the NRL it's a lot more about holding the ball and completing, a lot of structure.
"Over there you can back yourself a bit more. I don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing, you try a few things and they don't come off!
"But I still think I'm playing good. I definitely wouldn't have come back if I didn't think I could compete and do a good job."