Harry van Dartel hasn't ruled out a return to Newcastle Rugby League one day, but for now he's down south for the winter.
The versatile 21-year-old will line-up for the Woden Valley Rams in the Canberra competition, the same region where he played for the Raiders under 20s.
He relocated to the nation's capital shortly after receiving the JJ Wilson Medal for man-of-the-match in South Newcastle's grand final victory over Lakes at McDonald Jones Stadium last year.
"I came down for an opportunity with the [ACT] Brumbies [rugby union] sevens and then ended up deciding to hang around for a while," the former Knights reserve grader said.
Van Dartel contemplated but turned down an offer for 2019 from new Souths coach Andrew Ryan.
"They will kill it again this year," he said.
On Saturday van Dartel will line-up for the Monaro under 23s against Central Coast at Wyong in round two of the NSW Country Championships.
Newcastle and Hunter Rugby League men's and women's sides host the North Coast Bulldogs at Maitland Sportsground on Saturday following first-round losses to Riverina on the weekend.
Meanwhile, former Lakes fullback and NSW Country under 23s representative Kyle Kennedy has been named at lock for defending champions the Northern Rivers Titans having linked with Queensland Cup squad the Tweed Heads Seagulls.