Warriors halfback Chanel Harris-Tavita isn't spooked by the emergence of Reece Walsh, saying the presence of the gun teenager can only be a boost for the squad.
The rapid rise of the 18-year-old Queenslander, who only came into the fold a month ago, has completely changed the playmaking picture at the club.
Harris-Tavita and Kodi Nikorima were the front-line halves this season, but the arrival of Walsh has stirred the pot.
Coach Nathan Brown will be wary of his workload, given his youth and inexperience, but Walsh's obvious potential and attacking spark will be hard to ignore.
With Roger Tuivasa-Sheck surely fixed at fullback, Walsh will be targeting a halves spot, but Harris-Tavita welcomes the challenge.
"It's real healthy for our team to have competition for spots," Harris-Tavita told the Herald. "Last year we didn't have enough players and we were looking for loan players, and as soon as they came in, they were starting."
"It's a good headache to have for the coaches. I'm just going to keep trying to improve my game, help others improve their game and whoever Brownie picks, he'll pick the best team each week."
Nikorima was shifted to hooker for the last 27 minutes of Sunday's 38-32 loss to the Sea Eagles, to accommodate Walsh, as Wayde Egan was spelled.
Harris-Tavita has filled in at dummy half in the past, though that option hasn't been discussed yet.
"If Brownie sees me as a back-up hooker I am more than happy to play whatever position he wants," said Harris-Tavita. "Long term the best position for me is halfback, to try to guide the team around the park."
"If I am not performing at halfback then he might look to play me at hooker and leave Kodi at half, but for now I'm going to try and develop my game at halfback."
It's a conundrum for Brown. Nikorima offers experience, elusiveness and vision, while Harris-Tavita is a good organiser and strong defender. Walsh is the wildcard, a jumping jack flash of a player, albeit on a steep learning curve.
After six weeks out, Harris-Tavita had a solid return on Sunday. He showed good awareness to notch two tries, with some encouraging moments on attack and defence.
But both Nikorima and Harris-Tavita struggled with their second half kicking game, as the Warriors were unable to stem the Manly tide.
"We couldn't turn momentum with our defence and we didn't respond well to the errors that we were making," said Harris-Tavita. "Our kicking game was pretty poor and whenever we made an error, we couldn't defend the next set."
The Warriors led 20-12 with 35 minutes to play, but everything unravelled after a sequence which saw a botched try at one end, then Manly crossing a minute or so later.
"We started off well and the score reflected that," said Harris-Tavita. "During the second half we got put under a lot of pressure and Kodi and myself, we needed to either kick early to change momentum, or get the execution of our kicks right."
Harris-Tavita returned ahead of schedule, after a stress fracture in his foot suffered in round two, thanks to successful surgery and rehabilitation.
He was excited to be back – "I've been watching from the coaches' box for the past few weeks and it's a lot easier from there" – and was happy to be "off the nudie run", with his first try of 2021.
"He had some decent touches," assessed Brown. "Chanel is just learning his game so it is always going to take him some time to get back."
"We're certainly going to be much better footy team for having Chanel in our team and over time, I'm sure, his game will grow. Hopefully he can stay on the field for a long, consecutive period."