Sydney Roosters recruit Paul Momirovski says the key to success in Sunday's NRL elimination final lies in not trying to imitate the man he's replacing at centre: Joey Manu.
A candidate for the Dally M Team of the Year, Manu is one of the Roosters' most dynamic attacking players and leads his team for both tackle breaks and offloads.
However, the New Zealand international went down with a calf injury late in the Roosters' round 25 win over Souths, ruling him out of the rematch at Allianz Stadium and at least one more week after that.
Momirovski played right centre in Penrith's 2021 premiership team and has beaten Oliver Gildart, Kevin Naiqama and Adam Keighran to replace Manu.
The 26-year-old has played the majority of his games this year at centre and is feeling confident about the move, but isn't promising he can pull off a Manu impression on the big stage.
"No one can," Momirosvki told AAP.
"I'm not trying to be Joey Manu, I'm just trying to be me.
"I've played a fair bit of right centre in my time so it's something that's familiar to me."
Momirovski prides himself on his chemistry with his teammates on the edge, and his defensive steel.
Halfback Sam Walker, who marshals the Roosters' right edge, said he expected the former premiership Panther to fit right in at short notice.
"He's one of the smartest defenders I've ever played with,' Walker said.
"He's a different player to Joey but he's got his defence and his communication and has a lot of skill out there as well.
"I'm looking forward to building on that connection with him."
The Roosters will be relying on Momirovski's defence come Sunday, given their right edge will line up against the Rabbitohs' potent left side.
For a second consecutive year, Rabbitohs left winger Alex Johnston leads the competition in tries scored, with Cody Walker and Latrell Mitchell also combining on that edge.
Momirovski lined up against Johnston last week at right wing and for the first time in his last nine games, the Rabbitohs' go-to finisher left the stadium without a try to his name.
"Their left-side attack has been one of their strengths all year and for a few years now," Momirovski said.
"Obviously we've had a good little preview of them last week.
"This time of year, there's no floating in and out of games. Every moment is big and I think that's how we all play."