Trent Hodkinson insists he still wants Manly's No.6 jersey despite being bumped back to the bench at the expense of Kane Elgey.
Hodkinson trained in the halves all pre-season for Manly and started at five-eighth in both of the Sea Eagles' trials, before coming off the bench last weekend against the Tigers.
"That's where I want to play," Hodkinson said.
"I think that's my natural position. Des needed me to fill another position because Api (Koroisau) was coming back, his first game. He's had some time away, so I was happy to do that for the team.
"We (Des and I) had a chat and he knows I'm keen to train in the halves. He knows, but it's up to him and what's best for the team at the time."
A NSW State of Origin representative five years ago, Hodkinson reached a grand final under Hasler in 2014 at Canterbury.
But he has endured a difficult few years, battling injuries and selection at Newcastle in 2017 before starting in just seven games last year in stints at both Cronulla and Manly.
However after having beaten the knee injuries that plagued him recently, he insists he still has plenty to offer in first grade at age 30.
"The last few years have been all over the shop. So patience I have learned a lot of," Hodkinson said.
"It is difficult. But I'm lucky I'm not a highly strung guy. I can embrace that and move forward.
"Especially when you know you can still do a good job in the NRL. A decent role."
Australian Associated Press