Starting in the halves in this Saturday's trial match, Drew Hutchison believes the heated competition for the coveted no.6 jersey is creating the ideal training environment with the new season right around the corner.
With Luke Keary confirming he will start the season at halfback with a decision on who will partner him in the halves yet to be made, Hutchison says the intensity and camaraderie from his teammates is bringing the best out of one another on the training field.
“The competition is interesting because they’re all different players," Hutchison said of his teammates.
"They all add something different to the team and it’s definitely made the sessions stronger. It’s something that I’ve really enjoyed at pre-season training this year.
“We’ve been training really hard. It’s built up quite a bit over these last few weeks, the boys have really nailed it and it's definitely going to set ourselves up for a big season.
Hutchison admits that he wasn't expecting to earn a full-time contract after a stint in England saw him return to Australia for a second shot in the NRL, having previously played for the St. George Illawarra Dragons.
Now in his third season at the Club, the popular squad member says he is now found his home at Bondi and is thriving in the Red, White and Blue.
The Roosters is a Club where every day you come in and you better yourself as a person, as a player and as a team member. That creates a strong environment, and that's shown in our results over the last couple of years.Drew Hutchison Roosters Half
“I spent just over a year in England and came to the Club on a train and trial contract, and it’s an unbelievable place to be at," Hutchison explained.
“I didn’t have any expectation to make the side, and didn't know what would eventuate, but to earn my place and the respect of the coaches and players here as well is something I value highly.
“The Roosters is a Club where every day you come in and you better yourself as a person, as a player and as a team member. That creates a strong environment, and that's shown in our results over the last couple of years."
Lining up alongside Lachie Lam against the Raiders, the humble halfback/five-eighth says that while he is more than happy to fill in wherever he is required, he also believes it is the perfect opportunity to prove his credentials for a starting berth to kick-off 2021.
“I’ve got the same goal every year – to be a part of the team in whatever shape or form and to contribute where I can," he said.
“Being a member of this team is something that I value highly and whatever role I need to play, I’m looking to take head-on.
“You’ve got to be reliable to not only the coach but with the guys you play alongside - you need to earn that trust.
'I’m really looking to showcase everything I’ve worked on and what I’ve learned this pre-season into this week's game. The thing about trials is that you need to let things flow and come naturally.
“Each pre-season I look to improve myself as an individual, and this year while I’ve worked hard on the physical aspect of the game, one thing I've concentrated on has been kicking.
"It’s an exciting time for everybody."