New Leeds Rhinos signing James Segeyaro believes that the move to Super League and the opportunity to link up with the reigning champions is a move that can bring his career back on track – and admits he could potentially see himself staying at the club.
Segeyaro has joined the club on a deal until the end of the season, with Zak Hardaker heading the other way to the 25-year-old’s former club, Penrith.
And the hooker says the support he’s received since joining the club has made him feel so at home he isn’t ruling out staying at Headingley.
“Yeah, that’s what’s half-scary! It’s been overwhelming and like I said, it feels like I’ve been here for five years, so I can definitely see myself sticking around,” he told Sky Sports.
“In saying that, I just want to take it day by day and to come out Friday and put a real good performance in for the boys, for the club and for the supporters.”
And, when speaking for the first time as a Leeds player earlier this week, the hooker said that whilst he has nothing to prove to anyone, the switch to Leeds could be the catalyst for his career to pick up again.
“There’s a burning desire for me to do well here but I don’t have to prove anything to anyone except myself,” he said.
“I’ve had a disruptive couple of years but this is a place that will make me succeed and bring the best out of my career. I’ve not given any thought to next year yet as I just want to concentrate on the contract I’ve got at the moment.
“I’ve visited the famous South Stand for the first time and although it’s the first time I’ve ever been to the UK, I can’t wait to get going.”
Segeyaro has said he’s ready to go as soon as this Friday for a debut against Hull FC – something the Rhinos coach, Brian McDermott, backed up.
“I’m hoping I’ll be getting the nod – I’m good to go,” he said.
“It’s a massive game coming up against Hull they’re the benchmark and there’s a fair few internationals in there and it’s a huge game for us this weekend.”
He also believes that Super League is a competition which is “straight up his alley” having watched it back home.
“I hope my energy in general is what I can bring to the team,” he said.
“My performance around the ruck is a big part of my game and I’ll hopefully help the team run around the park. I think it will suit me 100 per cent; I’ve watched a couple of games and it’s straight up my alley.”
And Segeyaro also revealed that the opportunity to follow in two fellow PNG stars and play in Super League was a huge motivation in him making the move.
He said: “When I was younger and watching the English game, I watched a lot of Stanley Gene; a PNG icon who played in Super League and that’s how I got into it. I’ve always had ambitions to come over here but never thought opportunity would arise itself so early.
“I also had a word with Paul Aiton before moving over, he had awesome success at the club so I’d love to follow in his footsteps.”