The arrival of England playmaker George Williams is set to heap pressure on the Canberra Raiders' halves contenders as the club faces a salary cap squeeze.
Canberra supremos have struck a deal on a transfer fee to secure the signature of Wigan Warriors half George Williams on a three-year deal commencing in 2020.
The 10-Test halfback will join countrymen John Bateman, Ryan Sutton, Josh Hodgson and Elliott Whitehead on Canberra's books.
But more pressing is the task facing officials as they try to balance the futures of the incoming Englishman, Jack Wighton, Aidan Sezer, Ata Hingano and Sam Williams into the same squad.
Wighton has stamped his name on the No. 6 jersey while Sezer has another year to run on his contract as he prepares to play halfback against St George Illawarra on Sunday.
Sam Williams and Ata Hingano are off contract at season's end but the club is keen to retain the former beyond this year.
Further complicating matters is the fate of star winger Jordan Rapana, with the club keen to hold onto the New Zealand international.
MORE RAIDERS NEWS
Canberra are beginning to piece together their roster for 2020 and beyond with promising forward Corey Horsburgh penning a three-year extension with the club.
Williams has been tipped to thrive in the NRL by those who know him best and Raiders captain Hodgson says the heat is on to find his perfect partner.
"He is a kid who is going to add a lot to our squad. He's certainly going to put a few question marks on the blokes to go with," Hodgson said.
"Obviously Jack has been killing it at six, and he has cemented down that spot. It obviously puts a bit of pressure on the other halves there, with him coming in next year.
"He's probably the best halfback over there at the moment in terms of how he is playing and how he has played in previous years. It's a massive coup for us.
"We're obviously a team pushing to be the best, everyone wants to win it, and George is going to be a massive addition in terms of us being up there year on year."
Williams has lit up the Super League this season, having laid on 14 tries and scoring 11 of his own to guide Wigan to the top four in their title defence.
"He has played a lot of Super League at the age of 24 and he is their Test halfback," Raiders chief executive Don Furner said, adding the fluid nature of the salary cap means it is always a balancing act.
"It's good when other players talk highly of the club, it's a lot easier to recruit then. It took a while but we got there."
He will find himself commandeering a Raiders outfit boasting a healthy mix of youth and experience as a raft of rookies continue to make a name for themselves this season.
Horsburgh has shown plenty of upside in his maiden season, standing tall against some of the best forward packs in the competition.
Now he is determined to do it again when the Raiders meet the Dragons in Wollongong this weekend.
"I was just hoping to play some good footy this year and hopefully debut around this time so to get it round one and to have already re-signed is a very proud moment," Horsburgh said.
"I felt like I was starting to get the pace of the game and really find my feet, then the elbow injury set me back a little bit, but a few more games and hopefully I can keep building.
"I'm starting to feel comfortable again so hopefully I can stay in the starting side."
NRL ROUND 17
Sunday: St George Illawarra Dragons v Canberra Raiders in Wollongong, 6.10pm.
Raiders squad: 1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, 2. Bailey Simonsson, 3. Jarrod Croker (C), 4. Nick Cotric, 5. Jordan Rapana, 6. Jack Wighton, 7. Aidan Sezer, 8. Josh Papalii, 9. Josh Hodgson (C), 10. Dunamis Lui, 11. John Bateman, 12. Elliott Whitehead, 13. Joe Tapine. Interchange: 14. Siliva Havili, 15. Corey Horsburgh, 16. Sia Soliola, 17. Ryan Sutton, 18. Sam Williams, 19. Michael Oldfield, 20. Royce Hunt, 21. Emre Guler.
Dragons squad: 1. Matthew Dufty, 2. Jonus Pearson, 3. Euan Aitken, 4. Timoteo Lafai, 5. Mikaele Ravalawa, 6. Corey Norman, 7. Darren Nicholls, 8. Jeremy Latimore, 9. Cameron McInnes, 10. Blake Lawrie, 11. Jacob Host, 12. Tariq Sims, 13. Luciano Leilua. Interchange: 14. Korbin Sims, 15. Reece Robson, 16. Patrick Kaufusi, 17. Josh Kerr, 18. Tristan Sailor, 19. Jason Saab, 20. James Graham, 21. Ben Hunt.