Paul Vaughan isn't resting on his laurels.
The St George Illawarra prop enjoyed a breakout 2017, being mentioned in dispatches as a future NSW Origin representative and enjoying a World Cup campaign with Italy.
But he says that won't mean anything if he want go to another level in 2018 and is champing at the bit to form a new Red V front row partnership with James Graham.
"That year that I had last year was probably the best year that I've had in my career," Vaughan said.
"Each year I'm trying to get better. I don't want to plateau after that year. I want to get better, I want to improve each year that I play first grade.
"I've played over 100 games now so I've got to pull my finger out and go to that next level or I won't be happy with myself."
After finding himself unwanted at Canberra, he took up an opportunity at the Dragons and proved himself one of rugby league's premier forwards.
He averaged 137 metres per match in 2017, the fourth most in the competition by a prop.
Now, he's eyeing that next peak of a maiden Blues jersey and has shadowed Graham during the off-season, hoping the fiery Englishman's enthusiasm and work ethic will rub off on him.
While Vaughan admitted to having some problems understanding his teammate, he described Graham as setting the gold standard on the training paddock and was looking to follow his lead.
"Everything he does is 100 per cent," Vaughan said.
"If we're out there training and the ball goes dead, he's sprinting back to the 20 to get ready for the next set which is something you don't really see that often.
"I'm really eager to learn off him and to build my game and we complement each other pretty well. If we can get the sets off to a good start, it's going to be good for the both of us and the team as well."