You could forgive Euan Aitken for being nervous after Wayne Bennett unveiled Felise Kaufusi, Kenny Bromwich and Tom Gilbert as his starting back-row.

Aitken, who's spent the last two years at the Warriors, transitioned into an edge forward at the club after years of playing as a defensive centre for St George Illawarra.

The move appeared permanent, playing 20 of his 21 games last year as a forward, picking up the Warriors' player of the year award in the process.

He also started two games for Scotland at the World Cup, donning the No. 11 jersey in both outings.

The 2022 Simon Mannering Medal winner Euan Aitken was not nominated for the RLPA Award. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

While he's made waves at centre in the past, nearly earning a New South Wales jersey in 2018, it looked all but certain that Aitken was joining the NRL's newest club as an edge forward.

Apparently not.

The 27-year-old has revealed that he originally spoke to Bennett about playing right centre for the club, putting him in direct competition with the likes of Tesi Niu, Oliver Gildart, Valynce Te Whare, Robert Jennings and premiership-winner Brenko Lee for a spot.

Bennett believes the centres are where Aitken is best equipped, giving the restored centre a clear focus during the pre-season.

“I had a chat to Wayne and that's what he wanted me to have a crack at,” Aitken said.

“He thought it'd be the best fit for the team.

WOLLONGONG, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 28: Euan Aitken of the Dragons celebrates victory during the round 15 NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the North Queensland Cowboys at WIN Stadium on June 28, 2019 in Wollongong, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

“I'm excited to be back in the centres. It's a good challenge for me.

“There's a lot of competition for spots in this backline and I'm ready to attack that head on and hopefully get that round one centre spot.

“It's a very big challenge defensively but I like when you get that one-on-one challenge to attack the opposing centre.”

Bennett has confirmed the partial make-up of his best 17, already announcing his spine, starting forward and utility role for his maiden season at the helm.