Konrad Hurrell insists he’s ready for one of the biggest challenges of his career on Saturday, when he squares up to a player he admired when he was beginning his career – Catalans’ Israel Folau.
Hurrell, who has been one of the stars of the Super League season so far, will come face-to-face with Folau in Perpignan on Saturday when Leeds aim to continue their impressive start to the season with a victory against the Dragons.
And the Tongan star told League Express he is excited to test himself against Folau.
He said: “Every kid that knows how he played always looked up to him when they were younger. He’s a Tongan fella too and him pretty much killing it in every code he plays shows how classy he is.
“You did look up to him when you were coming through yourself, and now I’ve got the chance to play against him and I’m relishing the challenge.”
Hurrell also admits he will have to be on top form to cope with Folau’s renowned aerial ability.
“It’s going to be a big challenge,” he said.
“He’s been playing well and since he’s been playing, they’ve been winning games, so it shows you what he’s all about.
“He’s got the best ability under the high ball I’ve ever seen in my life, so that will be a real challenge for me. I’ve got guys backing me up in that regard, which I might need, but I’ll bring my A game and hopefully match him up the best I can.
“Ash Handley is pretty good under that high ball so I’ll try and block Folau off for him.”
Hurrell also insists that with the Rhinos performing well on the field, he loves life in England away from the rugby field, too.
He said: “Life is good. It’s not just about footy, it’s about life off the field too because everyone is happy here.
“We’re far from home but the family are settled and everything is going really well. Winning helps improve the mood obviously, but we went through that rough patch last year. I’m settling in and I don’t need Google Maps everywhere any more. It feels like my second home now.”