Moses Mbye may have relinquished the captaincy at the Wests Tigers but the former skipper is unlikely to give up the fullback spot as easily after the club's luring of Panthers speedster Daine Laurie.
Laurie joined Mbye and the rest of his new teammates for a pre-season camp in Tamworth this week as the squad continues to build leading into their main trial game against the Sea Eagles on February 28.
After training in every backline and halves position last pre-season, Mbye has spent all his time on the training paddock at fullback leading into the side's 2021 campaign, a change that he hopes can bring cohesion to the side's spine.
Adam Doueihi's expected move to five-eighth and the signing of James Roberts in the centres has enabled Mbye to focus more on the No.1 jersey during the summer.
However, the addition of promising talent Laurie – who can play anywhere in the backline – will leave Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire with a final decision to make ahead of round one.
"You can never have too many quality players so he'll slot in well somewhere," Mbye told NRL.com of Laurie's arrival.
"Daine is elusive and a strike player that can really upset teams. Sometimes [competition for places] can get a bit tricky but I enjoy it, I enjoy just playing footy and as a club we're trying to win some games this year.
"We're getting a little bit of depth around what we need to do. The signing of James Roberts is massive as well. We just need to do the hard work to use those sorts of guys.
"I've trained every day at fullback and it feels good. I've put a lot of work into my body with rehab and I want to be in the thick of it and involved in a lot of play."
Part of Mbye's shift to the fullback role will revolve around his combination with new-look halves pairing of Luke Brooks and Doueihi, who will be available from round two after missing round one due to suspension.
Brooks came under scrutiny at various times during last year's disrupted season, including being benched for the first time in his career by Maguire for a three-week period.
Mbye said the 2019 Dally M Halfback of the Year was showing no signs of last year's demons and was "due" to bounce back in 2021.
"I actually thought Brooksy had a pretty good year but as a team we just didn't win the games to show for it," Mbye said.
"He wasn't out of form for me, but losing games can knock your confidence around a little bit.
"He's at that age now where he's experienced and it's probably the most of amount of pressure he'll be on this year, especially with Benji gone.
"But I think he's really thriving on that and is due for a big year. He's displaying some quality leadership on the training paddock with the way he's been guiding the team around, it has been great.
"I think it will be a big year for him and there's no reason it shouldn't be."
Wests Tigers in 2021
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