Matthew Dufty toured the Canberra Raiders' centre of excellence on Thursday, but the St George Illawarra fullback won't be joining the Green Machine this year.
Raiders coach Ricky Stuart feels it's important for the Dragons custodian to repay the faith the Dragons have shown in him.
Dufty, his girlfriend and manager Clinton Schifcofske toured the new Braddon headquarters as the Raiders ramped up their pursuit of the off-contract No.1 - with the Raiders' opponents at Canberra Stadium on Saturday, the Brisbane Broncos, also keen on him.
Dragons coach Anthony Griffin wants to head in another direction, despite fans launching a petition to keep him that's had more than 11,600 signatures.
Stuart said the discussions went well and joked it was fortunate Dufty's girlfriend liked the snow - given the cold snap that's hit Canberra.
"It's always very important to us when communicating with a player from outside of our Canberra region that they come and have a look around our facility and see what our commitment to them is, and what commitment they have towards playing for the club," he said.
"It's a lot easier sitting down face to face. He brought his girlfriend along, his manager Clinton Schifcofske, an ex-player from the club - it shows that the player is interested.
"It was a good discussion and we'll wait and see what happens now going forward."
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Stuart stressed Raiders incumbent fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad was still an important cog.
Dufty's arrival might just mean the Kiwi international was part of a backline reshuffle. Or he might remain in the No.1 jersey.
Nicoll-Klokstad's out for the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on his neck.
"It's all about building and maintaining a roster. It doesn't mean that Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad's out of favour - he most definitely is not," Stuart said.
"You can see how important Charnze is to our football team since he's been injured.
"I've spoken to Charnze and made him well aware of how important he is to the team and that he's still an integral part of it - whether that's at fullback or another position that his utility value holds."
Nicoll-Klokstad's injury meant Dufty would have been a handy pick-up for the rest of the 2021 NRL season, but that's unlikely.
Ex-Penrith Panther Caleb Aekins had first crack at covering the massive hole left by the Kiwi international.
But he's been dropped with Bailey Simonsson assuming the custodian mantle for the Raiders' clash against the Broncos.
The Raiders also had youngsters Adam Cook and Xavier Savage who have played fullback in the NSW Cup.
"I think it's really important for him to finish the year off with the Dragons and repay a lot of those people that have had a lot of faith in him," Stuart said.
"It's the first time I've met Matt and I enjoyed the meeting."
NRL ROUND 14
Saturday: Canberra Raiders v Brisbane Broncos at Canberra Stadium, 7.35pm.
Raiders squad: 1. Bailey Simonsson, 2. Semi Valemei, 3. Sebastian Kris, 4. Matthew Timoko, 5. Jordan Rapana, 6. Jack Wighton, 7. Sam Williams, 8. Josh Papalii, 9. Josh Hodgson, 10. Dunamis Lui, 11. Corey Harawira-Naera, 12. Elliott Whitehead, 13. Ryan Sutton. Interchange: 14. Tom Starling, 15. Emre Guler, 16. Iosia Soliola, 17. Joseph Tapine. Reserves: 18. Elijah Anderson, 19. Hudson Young, 20. Matt Frawley, 21. Harry Rushton.
Broncos squad: 1. Herbie Farnworth, 2. Xavier Coates, 3. Dale Copley, 4. Jesse Arthars, 5. Selwyn Cobbo, 6. Karmichael Hunt, 7. Albert Kelly, 8. Matthew Lodge, 9. Jake Turpin, 10. Payne Haas, 11. Alex Glenn, 12. Tevita Pangai jnr, 13. Thomas Flegler. Interchange: 14. Kobe Hetherington, 15. John Asiata, 16. Keenan Palasia, 17. TC Robati. Reserves: 18. Tesi Niu, 19. Cory Paix, 20. David Mead, 21. Jordan Riki.