Adam Doueihi admits he was shocked to be told Latrell Mitchell would get first crack at the fullback position at South Sydney as he sets himself the goal of claiming the No.1 jersey at Wests Tigers.
The 21-year-old Doueihi started conversations with Souths coach Wayne Bennett once it became clear the club would sign NRL star Mitchell, saying he appreciated the honesty and freedom to chase a starting spot elsewhere.
"It was three weeks ago now when I first heard of it. I obviously knew they were signing Latrell and he's one of the biggest names in the game," Doueihi said on Monday, four days after signing a four-year-deal with the Tigers.
"Wayne spoke to me and was honest with me and said that Latrell would get first crack at fullback which did come as a shock to me a bit.
"I'm very thankful that he was honest with me and up front with me.
"Going up against a player like Latrell was obviously going to be a challenge for me."
He said fate delivered him to the Tigers under former Rabbitohs mentor Michael Maguire.
Doueihi has played a variety of positions over his 30-game NRL career including five-eighth, centre and bench utility, but the The Lebanon international said he feels the time is right to nail down a speciality.
Under Maguire, he believes he can do that.
"I've known Madge and I know what he's like as a coach and I've always wanted to work under him at a first grade level for the long term," he said.
"I guess fate plays a part I guess and I'm thankful for that.
"Obviously I've been thrown around in a few different positions and for me I think it's time to settle down and find myself a position, whether that be at No.1, I hope it is."
Although Doueihi will have to unseat incumbent Corey Thompson for the No.1 jersey this season.
"All my junior footy was played at five-eighth and I love everything that five-eighth brings," Doueihi said.
"I love the control you have at five-eighth, I felt as though my transition to fullback last year, a few people have told me they see me best suited there.
"The more games I played there last year the more comfortable I felt."
Doueihi has less than two months to fit into the Tigers structure before round one against St George Illawarra on March 15.