You could be forgiven for leaving Reece Robson off the 'NRL's elite hookers' list 12 months ago, however, the 24 year-old's form can no longer be ignored.
Robson, akin to a host of Cowboys stars, enjoyed a breakout season in 2022, though it hasn't stopped him from building on his game heading into this fourth year at the club.
Formerly a Dragon, Robson was on the cusp of a Blues debut this year if it wasn't for the duo of Apisai Koroisau and Damien Cook, while Mal Meninga short-listed the star for his World Cup squad.
Recently re-signing through to the end of 2025, Robson is shaping as a pivotal member of the club's future, and has his eyes firmly on improving his game this season.
"Yeah, the coaches are great, and always looking at video and things we can improve on," Robson told the media this week.
"Certainly one for myself that, the coaches have talked about, is developing a bit of a kicking game.
"Just sort of take the pressure off the halves. It's pretty much going back to Tommy Dearden again, saying 'Chaddy' (Chad Townsend) had a great kicking game for us, and he wants to take the pressure off him a bit as well.
"A kicking option out of 9 would really take that pressure off again. So that's something I really want to work on a little bit as well as improving on some other areas of my game."
It's a move that will assist Robson in completing his attacking arsenal, with the NRL's top No. 9's in Harry Grant, Koroisau and Cook all boasting handy kicking games, as do a number of other rakes in the competition.
Robson will start for the Cowboys this season, while Jake Granville is expected to hold onto the bench utility role despite a number of challengers for the role.
The club will kickstart their 2023 season with a trial against little brother, the Dolphins, before taking on their arch-nemesis in the Brisbane Broncos the following week.