Dane Gagai has earned a reputation as a big-game player in the representative arena but he wants South Sydney Rabbitohs fans to know he’s aiming to reproduce that form in the Telstra Premiership in 2018.
The Queensland and Australian Test centre is looking for another big year among a strong Bunnies backline following his exit from the Newcastle Knights.
One of his main goals is to replicate his representative form at the club after being named the Maroons’ player of the series in last year’s State of Origin win.
“The best thing about the club is that all the boys have been welcoming. It’s a really tight-knit group so I’m excited to be a part of it,” Gagai told NRL.com.
“I just want to make sure that I’m doing everything I can and give 100% every day, whether it’s at training or away from the field. I want to help out wherever I can and put in good performances week in and week out.”
The Bunnies are in the process of rebuilding with the arrival of new coach Anthony Seibold, and Gagai is pleased with the positive impact he is already having at the club.
“I had the privilege of playing under him when he was assistant coach for Queensland, and he has also been at the Melbourne Storm before so he understands what a winning club looks like,” he said.
“He is definitely showing and implementing a lot of those traits into the things we are doing at our club and the boys are all happy with the job he is doing.”
Gagai will have his chance to make a strong first impression in the Rabbitohs’ first trial against the Wigan Warriors on February 17 at ANZ Stadium.
With a combination of youth and experience running through the squad, Gagai has faith in all of his teammates to get South Sydney back into finals contention.
“I’ve actually been surprised at the level of the younger fellas and some of their strength and conditioning,” he said.
“Everyone is tracking well. There is a lot of talent in the side which I’m definitely excited about. Hopefully, all goes to plan, we have no injuries and we take on the trials and round one with a full-strength side.”