Ahead of his teammate's 200-game milestone, Manly captain Daly Cherry-Evans has recalled the five seconds that convinced him Jake Trbojevic was destined for NRL stardom.
It was over 10 years ago and the teenaged Trbojevic was invited to train with Manly's NRL squad having been earmarked as one of the top forwards coming through the grades.
Cherry-Evans had already been elevated to the first-grade squad and was beginning his career as a fleet-footed young playmaker.
As the Sea Eagles chose their partners for a wrestling session, Cherry-Evans thought he'd pulled a swift one over his teammates by pairing himself with the shy newcomer.
Little did Cherry-Evans know that hard yakka was - and remains - Trbojevic's strong suit.
"He tapped me out in about five seconds and nearly popped my head off my shoulders, so I never chose him again," Cherry-Evans said with a laugh.
"I knew from that moment on this bloke's strong and that might be his forte, tackling.
"He's made a hell of a career out of not just that but obviously playing some really good footy.
"I knew there was something special there."
Against Wests Tigers on Friday, the eldest Trbojevic brother will follow Cherry-Evans in becoming one of two active players to reach 200 games for Manly.
A World Cup winner and 16-time NSW representative, Trbojevic said playing with his brothers Tom and Ben at club level had been his career highlight thus far.
"Obviously Tom's debut, which was round five 2015 and then Ben's debut in 2021, those were really special times for me and my family," he said.
Trbojevic shrugged at his milestone as the Sea Eagles looked to end a middling season on a high.
"It's pretty cool, but I guess it's just another game," Trbojevic said.
"Obviously it's a bit sad the way the season's gone but it'd be nice to finish off here at home, hopefully we can have a good win and celebrate it in style."
Injured long-term and usually averse to the limelight, Tom Trbojevic asked club staff if he could front the media on Wednesday to publicly congratulate his brother.
"I think something you can take away from Jake is his attitude towards the game," he said.
"He does stuff that people don't want to do and he's very consistent.
"It's obviously a very proud moment for the family. Playing 200 games is really special."
Trbojevic added his pectoral injury, suffered playing for NSW in June, would rule him out of Australia's Pacific Championship campaign in October.
Looking to the future, Cherry-Evans delighted at the possibility the nervous teenager with a penchant for wrestling could become Manly's next skipper.
"This club's in great hands when I move on," he said.
"I've got no doubt Jake's going to be a fantastic captain for Manly soon."