Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson has implored Latrell Mitchell to be himself as he again prepares to wear the No.6 jersey - and possibly move into the role fulltime in future years.
The premiers were struck a massive blow in the lead up to their Anzac Day clash with in-form five-eighth Luke Keary forced to withdraw due to concussion.
While he's made a name for himself and earned State of Origin and Test honours as a centre, Mitchell's future could lie in the halves.
He has deputised there during Cooper Cronk's two-game absence earlier in the season and made a good account of himself.
The Roosters' halves picture beyond this year remains clouded with Cronk, 35, off contract and weighing up retirement.
Mitchell shapes as a potential long-term halves partner for Keary, although Robinson does have other options in the form of Lachlan Lam, who will come off the bench against St George Illawarra on Thursday.
Robinson said he wanted Mitchell to have the freedom to find his feet in the No.6 jersey.
"He doesn't need to morph into anybody but himself," Robinson said.
"We want him to play his style. I think you can see him understand the role more and more.
"It's easy to talk about it but doing it on the field is a different thing."
The Roosters go into round seven in a share of first spot - equal with Melbourne on 10 points and with a differential of +59.
Despite injury woes - which have seen Cronk, Jake Friend, Sio Siua Taukeiaho, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Brett Morris miss game time - they have remained arguably the most consistent team in the competition.
"Yeah, I've been very happy," Robinson said of their consistency.
"You don't want to see guys not play through injury but I love the number of players that are building and I believe the 24, 25 players we've been using should be playing every single week in a team.
"I want that competition, I want that hunger to be in the 17."
Australian Associated Press