Jake Averillo's prolonged run at centre to start the 2023 NRL season has seen him produce some of the best football of his career to date, and it's a fact not lost on coach Cameron Ciraldo.

If the eight-round stretch to open the season was the best of Averillo's career to date, then his performance against a poor St George Illawarra Dragons outfit on Sunday afternoon may have been the best of the lot.

Scoring a double, Averillo ended the game with 241 metres from just 11 carries, three tackle breaks, a couple of line breaks, an offload and ten tackles with just a single miss.

Ciraldo was high on Averillo's chances of performing solidly and consistently in the centres all off-season, and it now seems that faith and trust is coming to fruition, with the star centre churning out good performances.

Despite that, Ciraldo said there is still room for growth for Averillo as he continues adjusting to the centre role, it being the first time in his career he has had a designated role and not floated around the team - by the end of last year, he was playing fullback, a jersey now occupied by Hayze Perham, who joined the club from the Parramatta Eels during the off-season.

"I feel like there is still so much more that people are going to see as he builds his game and as we build as a team, build that cohesion," Ciraldo said.

"Everyone saw signs of what we have been seeing all summer and over the first eight rounds. He has some special talents Jake that you can't coach and when you get him in positions like that, he is a dangerous player.

"I was glad he got some results tonight, but he has also been doing some other stuff that we have been really happy that people haven't been noticing."

Ciraldo said a big part of Averillo's growth was him maturing.

"I think so. Any player will tell you when they are moving around positions that it's hard to get that cohesion and confidence. I think Jake is starting to build that. Even the people around him havent' been the same, so that hasn't helped that much," Ciraldo said.

"He has grown up a lot. He has matured, he has come out of his shell a lot this year, especially over the last two months and we are really excited about what he can do."

Averillo will still feel like this season is an audition for his future, and a spot in Canterbury's best 17 moving forward.

A squeeze for positions will be on at Belmore next season, with Bronson Xerri and Stephen Crichton to join the club. It's widely expected that Crichton has been signed to play the fullback role despite his time in the centres at the Penrith Panthers.

It's understood a key component behind him leaving the foot of the mountains was to play in the centres, while Xerri, a former Shark who has served a long ban from the game, will also be fighting for a centre position.

At this stage, with an already full backline featuring the likes of Josh Addo-Carr and young guns Jacob Kiraz and Paul Alamoti, Averillo is yet to be signed for the 2024 season.

That means other clubs requiring a top line centre could yet come to the party for Averillo, although there has been no speculation of such a move yet despite his blistering start to the season.

Averillo will be named again for next week's clash with the Canberra Raiders.