Manly Sea Eagles' latest recruit Jason Saab has spoken of his friendship with late Sea Eagles player Keith Titmuss.
Titmuss, 20, died last week after collapsing after a Sea Eagles training session.
Saab, who last week was granted a release by the Dragons to link up with Manly, was in “denial” when he first heard the news.
"I just broke down. I couldn't believe it," he told Nine.
"I was in so much denial and shock. It rocked me."
The pair were so close that Saab admitted they had often spoken about playing together just before the Dragons granted the winger a release.
Reminiscing on the conversations with his late friend, an emotional Saab broke down and was reduced to tears when he revealed he messaged Titmuss, telling him he would be joining him at Manly just moments before the young star passed away.
"To have that feeling, it would've been so amazing to play footy and train with your best mate," he added.
"We always spoke about it. I messaged him that day and told him I'm going to be there next week.
"I never got a message back. I asked him how training was.”
Saab said he hopes he can honor Titmuss as he begins the next chapter in his NRL career.
"It feels right. I feel like it's scripted that I be there and play first grade and be that next Sea Eagles number next to him."