Mid-season opportunity and determination to forge a new reputation have played a major role in Hudson Young's on-field transformation this season.
But there's another reason why Young has become one of coach Ricky Stuart's most reliable and versatile forwards during the second half of this NRL season.
He's now living with former Newcastle junior teammate Tom Starling, who is in the midst of carving out his own Raiders success story.
"Living with Tommy makes it 10 times easier," Young said.
"We don't get up to too much, because of the [NRL] bubble, we have a few coffees, we can't even go to the pub for a beer or anything like that so we just get a few feeds and go and sit out in the back in the sun.
"I grew up with Tom and played juniors with him so having someone like that so close to you makes it easier."
Young played a major role in Starling's move to Canberra. He suggested to the club's recruitment staff that his good mate, up in Tweed Heads at the time, would be more than capable in the NRL.
Starling signed with the Raiders at the end of 2018, and has proven a key cog this season in plugging the gaping hole left at dummy half by injured star Josh Hodgson.
The pair have fed off each other's energy on and off the field during a tumultuous 2020.
"I was by myself when Jack Murchie went up to Warriors for a couple of weeks and then I moved in with Hudson," Starling said.
"The two weeks there where I was by myself drove me mental, I was Facetiming all my mates back home, they were getting enough of me.
"I went mad in there by myself in the bubble I'm a bit of a social butterfly, I like talking and hanging out with people.
"Hudson's one of my best mates so to be able to live with him, we're always mucking around and having fun in the house. Me and him can switch off from footy."
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Young's game seemingly went to a new level in Friday's win over the Sydney Roosters when he was a surprise starter at prop, churning out an unwavering 57-minute stint before he was finally given a rest.
Come full time his numbers read 35 tackles, 163 metres and three tackle breaks including one which almost set up a try to Jordan Rapana.
That performance marked a coming of age for Young, who has spent the year with his head down determined to escape the shadow of two eye-gouging charges from last season.
"Everything that happened last year I just put my head down and worked hard and I'm happy to see that it's all starting to pay off now," Young said.
"At the start of the year I was a bit quiet, just trying to nail everything I'd worked on and everything that I could do for the team.
"Each week I'm getting more confident and just starting to find my feet and play the footy that I know I can."