Despite 2018 being his breakout season, Lachlan Fitzgibbon knows that his position in the top 17 is not definite.
With the influx of talented new signings, Fitzgibbon is aware that he is going to have to continue to work hard to secure a spot in the starting side.
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"There are some good signings that the Club have made and it is only going to make the Club much stronger and it has made the squad a lot stronger," Fitzgibbon said.
"But the flip side of that is there is more competition for spots and it can only be a good thing that brings out the best in the players we already have here and the squad and the competitiveness and the drive is high standard.
"I think for the last four or five years every year has been a step up in not only the personnel and the players we've got here but intensity and standards."
Fitzgibbon finished last year on a career high, playing in his best form yet but recognises there is still a long way to reach his ultimate peak.
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While some experts tip the 24-year-old to push his way into the NSW Origin arena in the not too distant future, the local junior insists he has a ways to go.
"For me it is just about improvement," he said.
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"Over the last couple of years, I feel like I have improved in some areas but I have a long way to go to be the player I want to be at the back end of my career.
"I have a few things that I need to be working on and Browny and the coaching staff have really been driving me on it, which is good."
The second-rower does exhibit flexibility within his position, having the ability to be able to play on both the left and the right sides.
It's this versatility and a stellar 2018 which will work in his favour come selection for Round 1.
"I can play both edges," Fitzgibbon said.
"It's a matter of who Browny wants to put in the halves and who he thinks has got a better combination with the halves at either player left or right.
"If he wants me to play on the right and build another combination with another half, then I am happy to and it goes visa versa on the left-hand side."