Jamayne Taunoa-Brown only expected to gain some experience when he went to the Warriors on a train-and-trial deal this summer but the hulking front-rower is ready to step up to first grade for the depleted side.
The Melbourne-born 23-year-old, who has been in the Storm and Knights systems, is on the cusp of a Telstra Premiership debut after fellow props Bunty Afoa and Jackson Frei suffered season-ending knee injuries and Sam Lisone was released to the Titans.
It's been a whirlwind couple of weeks for Taunoa-Brown, promoted to the club's top 30 squad on a two-year contract after receiving a surprise Indigenous All Stars cap, and he's determined to make the most the opportunities ahead.
"I'm very excited. I was pretty happy to get called up into the top 30. At the start I went over with no guarantees. To get a contract, that's unreal," he told NRL.com on Tuesday at the NSWRL season launch, where he represented the Warriors' Canterbury Cup side.
Captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck declared before last weekend's 20-6 trial loss to the Wests Tigers that "the first big boy to put their hand up, they get the [NRL] shot." Taunoa-Brown reckons he's right in the mix.
"I thought I went well. Definitely a chance [for round one] with the injuries and that at the moment," said Taunoa-Brown, who spent last year with Norths Devils in Queensland's Intrust Super Cup.
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"I've just got to keep working on my game and putting my best foot forward and I'll hopefully get an opportunity this year."
The 114-kilogram enforcer gained confidence from his All Stars performance, pumping out 88 metres and 28 tackles despite a 30-16 defeat to the Maori side.
"It was unreal, an unreal experience," said Taunoa-Brown, who is also a rapper under the stage name Yung Maynie.
"Just to play against the elite players of the game was a good learning experience. I took a lot out of it and I'm better for it," he said.
If he does get the nod to face Newcastle at McDonald Jones Stadium on March 14, Taunoa-Brown won't overthink his role.
"I'll just go out there and do my job for the team, try to execute my job the best I can, whether that's just running hard or making my tackles," he said.