Teenage halfback Phoenix Crossland has shadowed Mitchell Pearce around the training paddock for the better part of the last eight months.
The master at work with his young apprentice, watching and learning, always with a view to being ready to take that next step when the time came.
The time is now with Crossland, who turns 19 on Sunday, set to debut off the bench as the depleted Knights take on the Warriors on Saturday night at McDonald Jones Stadium.
Pearce, who faces his own moment of truth next Wednesday night in Origin III, has no doubts his young protege will handle his NRL debut.
"He's a real footy head who wants it badly and for a young kid, he is a great competitor," Pearce said.
"It's a great opportunity and I'm really pumped for him. He'll be fine, he'll handle it when he gets out there."
The Knights go into the game without their four Origin stars Pearce, David Klemmer, Daniel Saifiti and Tim Glasby and are also missing injured duo Kalyn Ponga and Edrick Lee and the suspended Mitch Barnett.
Forwards Josh King, Herman Ese'ese and Jamie Buhrer will all have starting roles for the first time this season while Mason Lino and Kurt Mann will form a new halves pairing. Connor Watson, who has stood out at hooker over the past month in the absence of the injured Danny Levi, returns to fullback with Levi back.
Knights coach Nathan Brown says the focus has been on who will run out against the Warriors rather than who is missing and at the very least, he expects his side to compete hard.
"I'd be very disappointed if our commitment for each other is not great," he said.
"We are playing a Warriors side pretty much at full strength but I'm very comfortable with the players we've got coming in. They all know their job. If we get the compete part right, we should give ourselves a shot."
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Brown says he is not looking for his players to try and be someone they are not.
"We want Jimmy Gavet to be Jimmy Gavet, we don't want him to be Dave Klemmer but we want the best of Jimmy Gavet," he said. "Likewise with Mason Lino, we want Mason at his best. We don't want Mitchell Pearce, he is not there. We just expect these players to bring what they bring to the table.
"Connor's not going to bring what Kalyn brings but Connor will compete very hard for the team and bring his skill-set. That's what we are expecting."
Brown said this time of the year invariably opens up opportunities for players.
"This is what happens around Origin time. A lot of people get an opportunity and in Phoenix' case, a lot of players get their first opportunity to play first grade," he said.
Pearce is confident the Knights will make life very difficult for the Warriors.
"I really think we'll go well. There is a lot of excitement among the boys and it's a big opportunity for them," he said.