Lock it in, Joe Tapine wants to stay with his bash brothers regardless of whether John Bateman's fit for the Canberra Raiders' season opener.
And Corey Horsburgh is shaping as as edge option to cover for Bateman's shoulder.
Bateman had shoulder surgery last week, but is hoping to be ready to face the Gold Coast Titans at Canberra Stadium on March 13.
Tapine was an obvious option to cover Bateman in the second row if the English international doesn't get up, but he's declared he wants to make the No.13 lime-green jersey his own.
The New Zealand forward was seen as a second-rower when the Raiders brought him across from Newcastle, but mainly came off the bench when he was establishing himself in the Canberra team.
He finally settled onto the Green Machine's edge in the 2018 season, but last year returned to the middle when Bateman returned from a fractured eye socket.
That's where Tapine played as part of the club's charge to the NRL grand final. And that's where he wants to stay.
"I told [Raiders coach Ricky Stuart] I wanted to play lock this year," Tapine said.
"I think they're going to maybe look at a different person going in there [into the second row].
"I want to start at lock this year and I want to play lock all year.
"I preferred it last year, grew into the position and I just want to learn my trade in the middle."
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That's where he's played a majority of his 100 NRL games, with just 26 appearances in the second row
He developed a bond with the Raiders starting front row of Josh Papalii and Sia Soliola, and now he wants to keep the band together.
"I just like the little crew we've got in there - Paps and Sia and that," Tapine said.
"We've got a little clique where we make sure we've got each other's back and I love being in the middle.
"I just enjoyed my time last year and what we were doing last year in the middle so I wanted to really stay in there and build on last year, and try and get back to that grand final."
Tapine's clique in the middle have all played in the Raiders second row during their careers.
Papalii was one of the best edge forwards in the NRL before he became the best prop in the NRL, while Soliola won his Mal Meninga Medal playing in the second row.
They could all shift back to the edge as cover for Bateman, but Tapine felt it could be one of the younger forwards coming through to do that - if required.
Tapine said Horsburgh's been training there, while Stuart also has Hudson Young (suspended) and Jack Murchie as options.
Horsburgh has played all of his 22 NRL games in the middle, where he's made a name for himself as a fiery forward that doesn't take a backwards step.
But he's been training in the second row as well.
"We've got a lot of young boys, like Corey and that," Tapine said.
"He's been training there, just a lot of young boys that are real eager to play that position.
"I don't know, we'll just see throughout the next couple of weeks who's going to build into that position."
Aside from locking down the No.13 jersey and looking to claim the premiership, Tapine will also continue to work on his talk.
It's something the 25-year-old identified last year as an area he needed to improve on.
He used his time in the New Zealand Kiwis camp following the 2019 season to become more vocal as he looks to lead with more than just his actions.
It's something Tapine's continued to work on throughout the pre-season.
"I've got to build on the stuff I was doing last year, attack and defence wise, and I reckon talking a lot more through the group and being more of a presence with my talk, instead of just actions," Tapine said.
"I'm going to work on that this year. [Stuart] and that are already helping me with that so I'm building to that, but it's a long process."