Leeds Rhinos: Peteru’s looking to be a regular starter

Leeds Rhinos v Hull Super League play off semi final Headingley fri 29th sept 2017
Brian McDermott
Leeds Rhinos v Hull Super League play off semi final Headingley fri 29th sept 2017 Brian McDermott
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NEW SIGNING Nathaniel Peteru knows getting into Leeds Rhinos’ side will be far from easy, but insists he is up for the challenge.

The front-row forward has joined Rhinos from Gold Coast Titans on a three-year contract and is set to make his first appearance when Leeds visit Wakefield Trinity on Boxing Day.

Nathaniel Peteru

Nathaniel Peteru

Outlining why he decided to join Leeds, Auckland-born Peteru said he no longer wants to be regarded as a super-sub.

“A big part was I wanted to have a fresh start as well as kind of establish myself more,” Peteru stressed.

“In the NRL I’ve been more of a bench/impact player.

“I am looking to take my game to the next level.

“Realistically, starting every week is the goal. I have got to work my way in and earn that first.

“There’s a lot of good players here and obviously Leeds Rhinos are the champions.

“I don’t expect to just walk in, I have got to work hard to earn that.

“I am prepared to do it and I am looking forward to the season coming up.”

Peteru, who will be 26 on New Year’s Day, arrived in England at the end of November.

“I have been settling in really well,” he said. “I have really enjoyed the fresh start. The boys have been really welcoming and I have really enjoyed my time here.”

The first few weeks at Leeds were a leap into the dark for Peteru, who made 23 appearances in the southern hemisphere NRL from 2015-2017.

“I didn’t know much about the squad before I got here,” he admitted. “I have been studying up quite a bit

“I probably only saw the boys play twice last year so I’ve been watching quite a bit of film of their games and working with the coaches to get me up to speed.”

Rhinos’ management believe the attacking style of rugby played in Super League will suit Peteru and he observed: “In the NRL is it a very defence-oriented type of game.

“I didn’t know too much about how Leeds play, but watching a few of their games and talking to Brian {McDermott], the coach, gave me a bit of an idea of how the game is played over here.

“Talking to a few of the boys back in New Zealand, they really think it will suit my style so I am looking forward to it.”

Titans finished second from bottom in the NRL last term so joining the Betfred Super League champions is a huge opportunity for Peteru.

“I’ve come from a team that’s always been underdogs,” he said. “Coming here is the complete opposite, every team wants to beat you.

“I am looking forward to it and to being part of the squad and getting to know all the players and the fans as well.”

Next Tuesday’s game will be the first time Peteru has played on Boxing Day.

“I am usually sitting on the beach,” he remarked. “The boys have been training really well and hopefully I’ll be right to go. Everyone’s looking forward to getting out there and playing.”

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