The Canberra Raiders will open talks to keep Jordan Rapana in lime green for an eighth season.
Rapana showed his utility value again when he deputised at fullback for Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad (finger), who could return this week to face the ladder-leading Panthers at Penrith on Saturday.
They could also welcome back Michael Oldfield (hamstring), but young winger Semi Valemei was unable to finish the 14-12 win over the North Queensland Cowboys in Townsville on Saturday.
He had a knee infection going into the game and came off in the 49th minute, but it's not thought to be too serious.
Raiders behemoth Josh Papalii was cleared by the match review committee after he was put on report for accidentally elbowing Cowboys fullback Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow in the back of the head.
Rapana has played on the wing, in the centres and in the middle this season on top of the fullback duties.
He's off contract at the end of the year, having returned to the Green Machine on a one-year deal.
Rapana left to play Japanese rugby union with Panasonic Wild Knights following last year's grand final, but the coronavirus pandemic brought him back to Canberra.
He said he would play wherever needed and he's been good to his word.
The New Zealand international had a few nervous moments in the No.1 jersey, but he also produced some of the trademark power he's usually associated with on the wing - going within inches of scoring a try.
Raiders chief executive Don Furner said they wanted to keep him in the capital beyond 2020.
He also said they wanted to keep Oldfield in lime green, although the 29-year-old might look for more opportunity elsewhere.
"We'll start to talk to them. Yeah, definitely [keen to keep him]. We know what 'Rapa' can do and bring to the club and everyone loves him," Furner said.
MORE RAIDERS NEWS
The trip to Penrith will make it the ninth road trip the Raiders have had heading into round 13.
Like Johnny Cash, they've been everywhere man: the Gold Coast, Melbourne, Campbelltown (three times), Parramatta, the SCG, Townsville and now Penrith.
It's the heaviest travel toll of any team in the coronavirus-affected schedule.
In stark contrast, the Panthers have left Sydney just once. In 13 rounds.
The Raiders haven't used the huge travel toll as an excuse and they've drawn praise from NSW legend Paul Gallen.
"They're just so resilient the way they just stick in there," he said on Channel Nine's Sunday Footy Show.
"I said a couple of weeks ago I don't think with the injuries they've got they can go on and win the competition, but I also said I wouldn't be brave enough to back against them.
"They are just so tough. They're a lot like their coach. I loved being coached by Ricky Stuart back in the day and you just wanted to play for him.
"I find this Canberra side are doing that at the moment."
NRL ROUND 13
Saturday: Canberra Raiders v Penrith Panthers at Penrith Stadium, 7.35pm.