St George Illawarra front-rower Josh Kerr has reached a crossroads in his young rugby league career.  

Touted to make his first grade debut ever since starring for the Melbourne Storm in the now defunct Holden Cup competition, Kerr still awaits a taste of NRL football two years on from his arrival at the Red V.

Kerr has labelled the 2019 Telstra Premiership as the year he finally hopes to make the step up to the big boys.

Now five weeks into his third pre-season at the Dragons, the 22-year-old believes a newfound sense of self-belief will help him overcome his confidence issues.

"The big thing for me is my mentality towards everything. I'm my own worst enemy at times," Kerr said.

"Physically, on the field or at training, I hold my own. That's a confidence booster for me. That confidence is something I need to take into 2019. This year is the year for me.

"I have to keep telling myself and believe I can [make my first grade debut]. I need to ensure mentally I'm always there so that hopefully in the future I can become a real good player."

While he has one of the "best forward packs in the world" to break into, Kerr is done biding his time in the Intrust Super Premiership.

With age well on his side, he's not however willing the likes of Jeremy Latimore and James Graham into retirement and credits them as important factors in his constant development.

"I'm doing everything I can to push into first grade. It comes down to how hard we want to work," Kerr said.

"I'd say we have one of the best forward packs in the world so that's a real challenge for myself. But (the older boys) have a set a real good platform for me to work off so it's up to me to live up to that."

Seeing the likes of Luciano Leilua and Blake Lawrie make a name for themselves in the NRL is another source of inspiration for the Redcliffe Dolphins junior.

"It's amazing to see what they have done. I've been with those boys for a few years now so I've seen what they have done to get to where they have," Kerr said.

"It gives me confidence that I can do that too.  I'm super proud of those boys in terms how far they have come."