Cameron McInnes was meant to be a South Sydney star for life.
A Rabbitohs junior developed by the same club as Mario Fenech, he captained the Souths under-20s side in 2013 and 2014.
The young hooker was the club's under-20s player of the year and made the team of the season in 2013.
At 20 he made his NRL debut and the world was at his feet.
But come Friday, McInnes will run out for the ladder-leading St George Illawarra trying to score his own first win over Souths as his name continues to be talked about in State of Origin circles.
For whatever reason, things didn't work out for McInnes at Souths.
Stuck behind Issac Luke for his first two NRL seasons, McInnes was finally due to get his full-time shot at the No.9 jersey in 2016.
But that lasted just seven rounds before he was relegated to the bench then, after originally reclaiming his starting spot, back to reserves and replaced by Damien Cook.
"I didn't play the way I'm capable of," McInnes told AAP.
"I think because I had Issac Luke had been in front of me and I wanted to be hooker, I wanted to be better than what he was.
"I wanted the fans to see me as that. A lot of things I didn't need to worry about."
A frustrated McInnes was behind Cook in the pecking order by the time rumours started to swell then-NSW hooker Robbie Farah could be headed to the Rabbitohs in 2017.
He sought a release and joined the Dragons, a move that has quickly turned him into one of the most dangerous dummy-halves in the competition.
But he insisted he has no ill-feeling, and that his change in form has come as much from a shift in his own mindset as it has the change of scenery.
"I honestly put a lot on myself," he said.
"Over-thinking. I put a bit too much pressure on myself instead of playing the game and playing what I see.
"I tried to force things at times and I got a bit nervous for games because I put a lot of pressure on myself."
McInnes used the disappointment as a learning experience and was instantly anointed an 80-minute player under Dragons coach Paul McGregor.
It showed immediately too, as he set up six tries and seven linebreaks in 24 games last year, compared to just one and two respectively in his 39 games previously for the Rabbitohs.
"That's why when I came here I did everything the coaches asked of me," he said.
"I just focused on playing footy and not over-complicating things."