Corey Norman has a five-week run to keep his NRL career alive as the off-contract half battles to keep St George Illawarra in finals contention.
A fractured arm to halves partner Ben Hunt in round 20 means Norman must shoulder the weight of leadership and playmaking when the Dragons face fellow eight contenders Canberra on Friday.
The 30-year-old was told he's not part of the Dragons' plans for 2022 with the NRL veteran recently admitting there were no offers on the table.
He is also yet to win a single finals game in a career spanning 223 appearances in the NRL.
With his future hinging on forthcoming performances, coach Anthony Griffin says it's important for Norman to focus on the now, not next season.
"I don't think it'd be his last shot but it's obviously a good opportunity for him not so much for next year, but staying in the moment now," Griffin said on Thursday.
"If he can get the job done on Friday night for us and play a leading role that's obviously going to help our team at the moment, which in turn is going to obviously create some more awareness about him.
"Corey's been around a long time. He's played a lot of big matches. He's played finals and Origins and he's been at this club for a few years.
"He's really keen to do a job for the club tomorrow night and if he does that, that will take care of all the other things."
Results in the next two rounds will shape the battle for the eight as five teams including the Dragons and Raiders sit level on 18 competition points.
But Griffin has faith in his combination of Norman and Adam Clune who brought his side success when Hunt went down earlier this year.
"These are the type of games that are going to obviously shape the season from now on, playing someone that's on the same points as us," he said.
"I'm sure they'll do a good job, earlier in the year when Ben (Hunt) went down they had a good combination.
"When we were in a bit of form before Ben came back we beat Parramatta and Newcastle with Cluney and Norman there and they've both got a lot of experience, particularly Corey. So we've got a lot of faith in them."
Australian Associated Press