Jacob Saifiti is feeling better than ever.
Exuding confidence ahead of his NRL return this Saturday, the prop is ready to make his return after a lengthy stint out of the first-grade line-up.
Excited and grateful to be named in he starting side to host the Warriors at McDonald Jones Stadium, Saifiti is eager to repay the faith with a strong showing.
“Yeah, it’s a weird feeling. I’ve sort of been, like you could say, dreaming of this moment and last few months just getting back into first grade,” Saifiti said.
'Literally filling my brothers' shoes'
“When Browny named the team, it was a bit surreal to be honest. Just sitting there, I wasn’t expecting it, he put my name on the board and I saw my name up there.
“I don’t think it really has sunk in. It was not the best way to end to last year and start this year (having broken my leg). But you know, I’ve worked really hard to get back here and its very satisfying.”
With twin Daniel wearing the number eight in the Origin decider, Jacob feels inspired by his brother’s accomplishments.
“It’s weird you know? He’s only a minute older than me, but I do look up to him and to see what he’s doing now it’s very inspiring and I just hope I do his jersey proud on the weekend,” he said.
“… he’s been unreal. Between him and my partner and a few on my close mates in the team they’ve been my rock. They’ve really helped me.
“Even during this origin period, he still messages me every day checking up on me, just giving me advice on stuff.”
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Playing eight games in 2018, it’s been more than a year since Saifiti last ran out in the NRL side.
Reflecting on his upcoming return, the big unit admits he’s anxious to get back on the field.
“It’s been over a year,” he reflected.
“It’s all a bit surreal. Even though I have been playing footy the last eigh8 or so weeks, it’s my first NRL game… it feels like forever... I’m trying not to be overwrought by it, but it’s very exciting.”
The team faces the setback of being without key players Kalyn Ponga, Daniel Saifiti and David Klemmer on Saturday.
Yet, Saifiti feels confident in the depth the Club has.
“Browny’s done well with the players he’s bought with a lot of depth; we’ve got Jimmy Gavet and I’ve heard Herman’s playing really well,” he said.
“We’ve got 17 players very capable players of getting the job done on Saturday. As long as were playing good as a collective group I’m confident we can do the job.”