South Sydney star Dane Gagai has opened up for the first time over speculation he wanted to quit the club, saying: "I will never say those words."
Gagai was reportedly looking at leaving the Rabbitohs last month after being shunted to the wing following the mid-season arrival of James Roberts.
The club quickly dismissed any suggestion Gagai wanted out after coach Wayne Bennett confronted the Queensland representative about the reports.
"I'm fully committed," Gagai said.
"To be honest, I don't know where those rumours even started. It came as a bit of a shock when Wayne pulled me into the office to have a bit of a chat about it.
"I've never said those words, I never will say those words."
He denied ever having any ill-feeling towards Roberts.
"This is where he grew up, this is home and it's good to have him back. I roomed with Jimmy in the Indigenous All Stars and he's a bloody character," Gagai said.
"He's a bit of a comedian, the lad. I really enjoy having him here."
Ironically, Gagai has scored three tries in four games since switching to the wing - a tryscoring feat he hadn't recorded since midway through 2015.
But the 28-year-old said there was a more specific reason why he is more of a threat under Bennett than under former coach Anthony Seibold last year.
When asked about his preferred position, Gagai said he simply wanted to be more involved in attack.
"I just want to get my hands on the ball. With some of the new staff that's come here, in our attack, I'm able to do that now," Gagai said.
"Last year we were pretty left-side dominant. We'd set up to the right and shift left and that was pretty much our game plan each week."
He said it was why they became predictable in their preliminary final defeat against eventual premiers the Sydney Roosters last year.
"We needed to be a lot more versatile because the Roosters shut us down in the semis and we didn't really have a plan B," Gagai said.
"But now with Cody (Walker) showing what he can do, he's playing both sides of the ball. He's put me over for a couple of tries on the right edge."
Australian Associated Press