Parramatta five-eighth Corey Norman is revelling in life out of the Brisbane spotlight and happy to take a back seat to Jarryd Hayne and Chris Sandow as the Eels plot their path towards the NRL finals.
Norman burst onto the scene as a 19-year-old with the Broncos in 2010 with a scintillating debut in the season opener against North Queensland at fullback.
Almost instantly he was talked up as the long-term successor to Darren Lockyer in the No.6 jumper.
But he never quite recaptured those heights again as the Broncos tried to work out what was his best position.
Norman played a full year at five-eighth in 2012, helping the team to the finals, but a season later was moved to fullback by coach Anthony Griffin.
Frustrated at not being able to play in his favoured position, his form dipped and he was axed from the team following a loss to Cronulla just as it was announced he was joining Parramatta in 2014.
But his form for the Eels this year has been excellent and the manner in which he has dovetailed with Sandow in the halves won praise from Hayne, who recently credited Norman with helping him reach the heights of his epic 2009 campaign.
But the 23-year-old has played down his role in the Eels’ revival and says he is happy for Hayne and Sandow to take all the plaudits and remain in the background – a luxury he wasn’t afforded at the Broncos.
“I just had to come in here and do my role in the team and that is to steer the boys around,” Norman said.
“We’ve got Chrissy and Haynesy, who’ve been outstanding, and our back-line is sharp and they’re getting the job done for us, which is good.”
Norman admits it was a huge risk moving to Sydney to join a club that had struggled at the wrong end of the table for five years, but said it’s worked out better than he could have hoped.
“I definitely thought they would go better than the last couple of years, but probably not finals,” Norman said.
“It was a big risk coming here, but I knew they’d recruited well with Nathan Peats and Will Hopoate.
“A lot of credit has to go to Brad Arthur as well. He has turned this club around.”