Slade Griffin has only been in Newcastle for a couple of weeks, but the 2017 premiership winner is slowly starting to find his way around town and familiarise himself with his new team and surroundings.
“It’s been great, the boys have been awesome and I really love the town, it just suits my kind of lifestyle,” Griffin told Knights TV.
“It’s a bit cruisier than Melbourne… no traffic and I really like going down to the beach.
“The boys here are really tight, they meet up outside of training and Jamie (Buhrer) actually organised a little bonding session the first week I was here so that was good timing and I’m starting to feel like I’m fitting in now.”
You’ve got to have depth to be a good side... I would love to be a starter.Slade Griffin
Growing up in New Zealand and spending a big portion of his life in Melbourne playing at the Storm, the 26-year-old is having to acclimatise to warmer temperatures.
“We have had a few hot days and I’m not really made for that,” Griffin laughed.
“I’ve been struggling a little bit but there’s a few other boys in my position, so we’re just getting each other through it.”
Griffin’s preferred position is at hooker and he can also play at lock, but knows he will have to battle it out with Danny Levi if he wants to lock down more minutes in the dummy half role.
“Competitiveness makes everyone better and you’ve got to have depth to be a good side... I would love to be a starter,” Griffin commented.
“Danny and I are different players and I could take more of the beating in the first 20 minutes and he could come on fresher and cause a bit of havoc for them.
“We have got a lot of spots the boys are trying to put their hands up for and we’ve got that all over the field.
“We’ve got Mitchell (Pearce) coming in, so we’ve got a good leadership group here now and the boys are really putting in the effort out on the field.”
The inclusion of Pearce in the squad 10 days ago has been a talking point for the players.
“All the boys are really excited, Mitchell is an unreal player… I can’t believe he came on the market and to get a player like that, it just pushes everyone forward,” explained Griffin.
“Already you can tell just how sharp he is at training, directing the boys around and that experience he shows.”