Broncos centre Izaia Perese is hoping next year's NRL Nines can be a springboard into playing regular first grade with the open spaces expected to suit his strong running game.
The 22-year-old, who played two NRL games for Brisbane off the bench this year, was the tackle-break king of the Intrust Super Cup in 2019 where he made a stunning 140 tackle busts in 18 games for the Redcliffe Dolphins.
Throw in 13 line breaks and 11 tries and it is no wonder Perese is looking forward to the extra space the Nines tournament will offer in Perth on February 14 and 15.
"If I get an opportunity to play at the Nines I think it could be a good springboard to getting consistent NRL. I haven't played Nines. I have played Sevens Rugby once," Perese told NRL.com.
"Nines looks tough. It looks like a bit of a lung buster. I guess I am just looking forward to playing against some big names and other players like me who are looking to prove a point.
NRL Nines the next step in growing national game
"I'm excited about having more space to work with. When I get more space I just light up. My tail starts wagging and I just go for the space.
"In defence, because there is more space, it gives you a bit more time to solve things rather than just shut things down."
Coach Anthony Seibold gave Perese his two NRL appearances as a reward for his development, application and form for Redcliffe.
He has been training in the centres since pre-season started in November and has made marked improvements since he arrived at the club last year from rugby union's Queensland Reds.
"I am definitely grateful for the year I have just had at the Broncos where it was all about learning and growing and getting my physical development in the gym up to date," he said.
"I couldn't be happier with where I am from a physical point of view. My legs were weak coming into pre-season last year simply because I had bad knees.
"I went to the strength and conditioner Ryan [Whitley] and told him I had bad knees and he said 'I don't care, mate. You are going to squat and squat heavy and we are going to get over that knee soreness'.
At the start it rattled me because I had never done that before but now it is my strongest aspect. I enjoy it now.
"Up in the computer room, I am getting my defence and spacings down pat. Coming into this pre-season I am way ahead of where I was last pre-season."
NRL Nines 2020 is headed to Perth
He played rugby union for the Reds but rugby league was Perese's first love.
He represented Queensland under 16s in league before making his commitment to rugby union after attending Brisbane rugby powerhouse Church of England Grammar School.
Parese said the physicality of rugby league gets his competitive juices flowing and that's why he is glad to be back in the game.
"I think that is what I was missing when I was playing in union, sitting out on the wing getting a touch and a tackle each game. It wasn't me as a player. It is definitely a huge change but I am enjoying it," he said.