Throughout his rugby league career, Daniel Atkinson has played as a fullback, centre, five-eighth, halfback and a utility from the interchange bench

In one of the first interviews of his career, Atkinson spoke to Zero Tackle about a range of topics, including what it is like playing for the Cronulla Sharks, Nicho Hynes' mentorship, and the faith instilled in him by coach Craig Fitzgibbon.

Atkinson, 23, has had a unique rugby league career to date and has already played in three different states despite his young age.

Starting with the Norths Devils, the Brisbane-born playmaker would make the switch to Victoria, signing with the Melbourne Storm on a development contract before following Dale Finucane and Nicho Hynes to the Cronulla Sharks after a one-season stint with the Sunshine Coast Falcons in the QLD Cup.

Also, a member of the Italian team in the previous Rugby League World Cup, Atkinson's hard work behind the scenes and in reserve grade is finally paying off after receiving the call-up to the first-grade team two weeks ago against the Canberra Raiders.

"It's unreal. You never know when your chance is going to pop up, so when it pops up, you've got to take it with both hands," Atkinson told Zero Tackle after playing his second game in Sharks colours and third in the NRL.

"My position is just on the footy field," he continued.

"The goal for me moving forward is just to play good, consistent footy wherever that is.

"Whether at Newtown or whether Fitzy trusts me in the first-grade squad, no matter what jersey I put on, I'm always going to put my best foot forward.

"You tell me to do something, and I'll do it."

Scotland v Italy: Rugby League World Cup
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 16: Daniel Atkinson of Italy looks on during Rugby League World Cup 2021 Pool B match between Scotland and Italy at Kingston Park on October 16, 2022 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images for RLWC)

Not only has Atkinson instilled a lot of faith in Craig Fitzgibbon and the club, but the Sharks have also instilled a lot of faith in him, gifting him a two-year contract extension last year until the end of the 2025 season.

A perfect backup to Braydon Trindall and Nicho Hynes in the halves, Atkinson has played a significant role in the Newtown Jets' success in the NSW Cup and is biding his time in reserve grade.

Speaking about what it is like to train and play alongside the halves duo, Atkinson admitted that he is extremely thankful for Hynes at the Sharks and even during their playing days together in the Melbourne Storm system.

"I knew him coming from the Storm system, and I have a lot to thank him for," Atkinson said.

"He has all the time in the world for ya even though his jobs are just as stressful steering the team around.

"He never says 'I'm too busy or can we do that another day'. He's always got the time to better everyone around him."

Daniel Atkinson in action. (Photo: Flickr- @NAPARAZZI)

While Atkinson has only managed two appearances for the Sharks, he has stated that he owes a lot to coach Craig Fitzgibbon for believing in him and signing him to a Top 30 contract last season.

Feeling valued at the club, Atkinson thanked Fitzgibbon for his faith and mentorship, as well as the squad members at the Sharks and Newtown Jets and the staff on and off the field.

"When I came to the Sharks, I actually felt really valued like I have a place here," Atkinson added.

"Fitzy has instilled a lot of confidence in me just to play to my strengths and I've got a lot to thank Fitzty for and all the staff.

"They go out of their way to help me (and) all the boys here too. I've got a lot to thank for."

The Cronulla Sharks will face the South Sydney Rabbitohs on Saturday evening at Accor Stadium, as they look to keep a spot in the top four.