He has Brisbane's No.6 jersey in his long-term sights but Kotoni Staggs has made the call to play the rest of the NRL season in the centres after spending an extended layoff mulling over his future.
Nine months after suffering an ACL injury in the final game of the Broncos' wooden spoon 2020 season, Staggs says he is primed to help the former glamour side avoid the same fate again ahead of his long awaited return against Cronulla at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday.
But it won't be at five-eighth.
Staggs signed a four-year extension while sidelined in May after coach Kevin Walters indicated the 22-year-old would be groomed to take over the No.6 jersey next year in a mouth-watering combination with incoming South Sydney playmaker Adam Reynolds.
While Staggs was desperate to make up for lost time and help the last-placed Broncos climb up the ladder, the strike weapon said he wouldn't be launching the rescue effort from the halves any time soon.
In footy and in life, be there for an offload
"Coming off an ACL, it's a big injury and I don't want to put myself under too much pressure," Staggs said.
"I want to go to a position that I know how to play and I'm good at as well.
"That's a call that I've made and Kevvie agrees with me on that.
Round 16 - Staggs returns, Panthers sweat on Cleary
"To play five-eighth I will probably need a pre-season under my belt for that. I am not looking at playing five-eighth any time soon. I just want to get out there first and play a bit of footy and see where I go from there."
But asked if he would switch early this year if asked by Walters, he said: "Maybe after a few games I am back and everything is going my way, I might end up having a shot there but in the back of my head I am playing centre finishing off the season."
"I love getting my hands on the ball early and you get that at five-eighth.
"We have a good halfback coming next year who can organise and run the team and there is always a half you also need that is a ball runner. And that is what I bring to that position - eyes up and play from there.
"I have messaged him to say congratulations on signing but no conversations with him at all but that will come around."
Staggs had plenty of time to ponder his next move after his return from injury was extended by a two-week ban and $20,000 fine for an off-field incident in April.
It came after he was slapped with a $10,000 fine for a homophobic slur directed towards a patron at a NSW country pub in February.
Lodge, Pangai not leaving Broncos in 2021
He risks having his new multimillion-dollar four-year deal terminated if he slips up again.
Staggs conceded he was on his last chance but had rallied with the help of family, friends and a psychologist to ensure he embraced it.
"I have learned a lot from my mistakes and learned a lot about myself as a person," he said.
"The things that have happened are in the past, I don't want to look back.
Kotoni Staggs' 2020 season highlights
"I am the only person who can go forward from here, be a role model.
"I think I have got the help that I need. If I ever get into a position like that again I will know how to handle it and move forward."
Staggs said he would be a bundle of nerves before his Telstra Premiership return but it would have nothing to do with his reconstructed knee.
"I was asked this the other day and I got a bit emotional about it because it has been a long time out of the game," Staggs said.
I love getting my hands on the ball early and you get that at five-eighth.Kotoni Staggs
"I will be very nervous running out there, especially putting on the jersey for Deadly Choices Round which is very close to my culture as well - it will be a bit nerve wracking.
"But I don't think about my knee when I am out there training. My game is all about my speed and explosiveness off the mark. I have done a lot of that in rehab, putting my knee in uncomfortable positions that I will have to do in the game. I am feeling ready.
"Every session I have done has been based around my speed, and all my skills and it has held up well - hopefully it does for the rest of the season."
He received a confidence boost by surviving a brutal Sunday session in which Karmichael Hunt (calf), Albert Kelly (hamstring), Ben Teó (calf), Selwyn Cobbo (head knock) and Queensland winger Xavier Coates were on light duties.
The Broncos will be without them against the Sharks along with Tevita Pangai jnr (ban) and John Asiata, who has been forced to undergo neck surgery.