Newcastle Knights' young talent Sione Mata’utia has retuned to Knights HQ inspired and motivated after spending the week training alongside the NSW Origin team in Coffs Harbour.
“It was an awesome experience and one that I’ve always wanted to do,” Mata’utia said on Tuesday.
“I came back today…and I was a lot more talkative than I was usually and I just wanted to bring back what I learned from the camp.
"I will try to use that as my personal standard at training here at the Knights."
Mata’utia returned from Blues camp to rejoin the Knights game preparation ahead of Friday night's match against the Canberra Raiders.
“It was good to get out there for the week. It would have been good to go up, but I have a job back here to do so it’s time to focus on this Friday’s game,” he said.
Mata’utia provided an insight into the atmosphere in Blues camp on the eve of the high stakes series decider.
“The vibe was just everyone was ready play,” he said.
"The boys have been on point and really focused on this coming Origin game.
“Every training session was like a game to me.
“I came out a bit sore as it’s very physical and intense training sessions.”
Now a regular face in the Knights’ side, the 19-year old is the first to admit he’s still learning and aims to use the Origin experience to help him grow as a professional.
“It’s a bit up and down with me. It’s two steps back one-step forward,” he said of his recent form.
“I’m still learning the positional game at centre, but I’m just trying to do my best every week and that’s all I have to do.
“I know I’m going to make mistakes along the road. I just need to be resilient and keep working hard at what I’m doing wrong.
“I’m really familiar with all the spots I’ve been playing at, I guess it’s just a harder level.
“The last few years I was at the under 20s, so to do it at NRL level week in week out is pretty tough and I’m still trying to get my grips.
“With every week I get a bit better and every week the team gets a bit better.
“As the season goes on I can become more stronger on the left side, or the right side and what ever position I’m playing.
“If the teams come our way we’ll do our best to fix it.”
The Knights will finalise preparations in Newcastle on Thursday morning before traveling to Canberra that afternoon.