Fresh from his shock return to first grade, Melbourne's Curtis Scott has put a target on the man he rates the best centre in the NRL - Latrell Mitchell.
Scott looks set to go head to head with Mitchell in Saturday's preliminary final at the SCG after forcing his way past veteran Will Chambers in the Storm pecking order.
Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy sprung a selection shock for Saturday's 32-0 semi-final demolition of Parramatta, starting Scott at right centre and relegating Chambers to the bench.
It was just Scott's second game of first grade since May, when he went down with a broken foot, but he now looks set to play out their finals campaign.
Scott came into Brad Fittler's NSW Origin selection consideration last year and the 21-year-old made no secret of his ambition as he eyes a likely clash with Mitchell.
"He (Mitchell) is a really good player and if I want to be the player I want to be, I need to have these big games against quality players like him," Scott said.
"I've just got to turn up with the right attitude."
Asked where Mitchell rated amongst the game's centres, Scott said: "He'd have to be up the top.
"I thought he took the Origin dropping really well. He went out there and he's playing consistent footy.
"He's the second-highest try scorer, that's pretty impressive for a centre these days, especially given how good the wingers are."
Scott was informed early in the week by Bellamy that he would be starting ahead of Chambers after the Storm coach consulted with his senior players.
"I've been working really hard. I had to bide my time, the boys have been travelling really well," Scott said.
"I worked my backside off and forced (Bellamy) to pick me."
Scott said he refused to kick stones after being sent up to play with Queensland Cup feeder team the Sunshine Coast.
Some weeks he would warm up with the Storm on game day as their 18th man before flying up to Queensland to play the next day.
" You certainly have dark days, especially when you're going through an injury and your name's being tossed around all over the shop," Scott said.
"I know the type of person I am. I just work really hard and if I want something, I work my backside off to get it.
"I might have had a couple of doubts here and there. But I just put my head down."
Australian Associated Press