Following a Rugby League World Cup campaign with Samoa, Herman Ese’ese arrived at the nib Newcastle Knights on Monday, eager for his first session in his new colours.
“It’s different adjusting to the lifestyle here in Newcastle and meeting the new boys,” said Ese’ese.
“I wanted to come in before the Christmas break and meet everyone, so I’m happy that I started today.
“I moved down with my partner so we are all set up in a house, it’s a nice area only 20 minutes away (from training) and 20 minutes away from the beach.
“In Brisbane, the closest beach is an hour and a bit away so I’m loving it here… my partner is loving it here and I’m looking forward to the year.”
The 23-year-old prop believes the Club has built an exciting roster for 2018, including the recent signing of Mitchell Pearce.
“The Club has done a great job building up the roster,” he said.
“Having Mitch Pearce here is great; he has experience and he is a high player profile… he has played Origin and won a grand final.
“We have got some other new guys as well and hopefully we are building something special here to reach the finals next year.”
The Club has done a great job building up the roster.Herman Ese'ese
While Ese’ese admits it was a tough decision to leave Brisbane, he said it was the right choice.
“You’ve got to do what you think is best for yourself,” cited Ese’ese.
“I wanted to come down to Newcastle, establish myself and take what I learnt from the senior players.
“It was a massive to have the likes of Sam Thaiday, Adam Blair and Josh McGuire, because they all took me under their wing as soon as I got there, from day one.
“I was like a sponge… I was trying to soak up as much as I could and I want to bring the experience they taught me here and hopefully help out with the other forwards here.”
Ese’ese is hoping to use that experience to earn a spot in the Knights’ starting side in 2018.
“That is entirely up to (Nathan) Browny … it depends on how well I go in the pre-season and in the trials but starting is something I am aiming towards,” explained Ese’ese.
“I’ll definitely be training the house down, giving it everything and showing Browny I am ready to start.
“It’s a new challenge for me but I’m just going to keep working hard, do my best and help out all the younger boys here.”
Meanwhile, Ese’ese maintains his World Cup stint with Samoa will always be something to remember.
“I got to know all the other Samoan players in the competition in my first World Cup,” said the 23-year-old.
“Playing in the finals with Frank Pritchard and Josh Papalii where I got to learn off them was pretty good.”
Ese’ese will have a number of training sessions this week before the team takes a short break over Christmas.