New Tiger earning his stripes



  • New Tiger earning his stripes

    Tue 16 Feb, 2016, 5:00pm
    By Martin Gabor‌, National Correspondent, NRL.com
    EMAIL PRINT
    New Tiger earning his stripes
    Jesse Parahi always dreamed of one day playing in the NRL. In 2016, those fantasies could well become reality.

    Having already conquered rugby Sevens, Parahi signed a one-year contract with the Tigers last season, meaning he would miss out on representing Australia at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

    While he would love to add to the bronze medal he won at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Parahi has no regrets about his decision to switch to rugby league.

    “The Olympics is still the pinnacle of sport, but I thought that this opportunity had come up at the right time for me, and I had to take it,” Parahi told NRL.com.

    He might have earned a name for himself in the seven-a-side sport, but Parahi is no stranger to the rigours of rugby league.

    “I played in the Bulldogs junior comp until I was 12, and then I moved to the Central Coast where I played league and union until I was 18,” the Tigers recruit said.

    The transition to rugby league has been made easier by the fact he’s joined a side renowned for its attacking flair. Now he needs to get used to the brutal nature of the 13-man code.

    "It’s been really enjoyable. I’m loving the change and it came at a good time for me. I’m learning a lot from these guys. They’ve all been really welcoming, taking me under their wings, so it’s been good.

    "With Sevens you do a lot of running and it’s really tough in that aspect, but you don’t have the physicality that league has.

    “You’re always in a wrestle or in a tackle, and you’re trying to break through a couple of players, so I guess that aspect has been a little bit more difficult for me to get used to, but I enjoy that side of the game.”

    Despite his vast experience in Sevens, Parahi was a shock omission from the Tigers Auckland Nines squad.

    The code-hopper was initially miffed at his snubbing, but understood the coaching staff’s decision when it was explained to him.

    “I had the same question when I found out I wasn’t playing,” Parahi said of his exclusion from the Nines playing group.

    “The coaching staff basically said that because the Sevens is a lot more similar to the Nines defensively than it is to thirteens, going to that would probably put me back. I didn’t want to fall back into old habits.”

    Parahi was in line to make his club debut in last week’s trial against the Storm, but was a late withdrawal.

    “I was in the captain’s run, and ran through the line and stepped on Lamar’s (Liolevave) foot and just rolled over and sort of got up and thought ‘I might be alright’, and tried to walk it off , but it was no good.”

    “I had a rehab run this morning. It’s pulled up alright, so we’ll see how we go. If it’s good throughout the day, we might be able to train tomorrow.”

    Should he overcome his ankle injury, Parahi is likely to play somewhere in the back-row, but even he isn’t 100 per cent sure what role he will play with the Tigers.

    “I think they haven’t fully decided on that yet,” Parahi said.

    “They’ve put me in at lock for training to sort of get my head around one position and they said they might teach me back-row and a few other positions just in case, so I might end up being a bit of a utility.”

    The aggressive ball carrier is well suited to rugby league, and could prove to be a wildcard in the Wests Tigers pack.

    Parahi has lofty ambitions ahead of season 2016, and is prepared to put in the hard yards if that means one day getting the chance to represent his country again.

    "I want to play NRL. Obviously coming over here, I made the switch and took a big gamble not going to the Olympics. I’ll do everything I’ve got to try to get into the NRL this year.

    “I’m going to put everything I can into playing NRL, and I’d love to play State of Origin and for my country one day, but that’s obviously a long way off and those are big goals, so I’ve got a lot of work to put in before then.”

    http://www.nrl.com/new-tiger-earning-his-stripes/tabid/10874/newsid/92931/default.aspx



  • Good on you mate, great attitude you should do alright, good luck.



  • I love the attitude and hope he achieves at least the first goal.



  • Pretty ballsy giving up the Olympics to test yourself in another sport. You gotta admire that.



  • Hope we get to see him run around the NRL side in the weeks ahead



  • Please carve it up!



  • Very interested to see what he brings to the table this season. He has good size and mobility, the big test will be getting his defensive reads right. If he can do that, he’ll be good value and hopefully make his FG debut.



  • I’m not the only one that has a bit of a feeling Parahi is going to be a bit of a shock star am I? Something about this bloke.



  • @MacDougall:

    I’m not the only one that has a bit of a feeling Parahi is going to be a bit of a shock star am I? Something about this bloke.

    I think his biggest issue will be learning how to play as a back rower

    I don’t think you could possibly risk a player at NRL level who can only play at lock

    He needs to learn how to defend in the back row and that can be just as hard as centre

    Especially when the two halves inside you aren’t noted defenders



  • @gallagher:

    Pretty ballsy giving up the Olympics to test yourself in another sport. You gotta admire that.

    Well said. Certainly can’t fault the commitment from the guy. I think he’ll certainly be the bloke that most tigers supporters will want to see achieve firsts. Hopefully it’s the start of a long career with us.



  • @MacDougall:

    I’m not the only one that has a bit of a feeling Parahi is going to be a bit of a shock star am I? Something about this bloke.

    Hope so.
    I like him, want to see him succeed!



  • You know how when a coach (like Sheens) calls a debuting player “the next Billy Slater or Andrew Johns” … Well,I’ve never seen him play but I’m prepared to call him Jesse “Price”.
    Hope I havnt Jinxed him. 😃



  • @Demps:

    @MacDougall:

    I’m not the only one that has a bit of a feeling Parahi is going to be a bit of a shock star am I? Something about this bloke.

    Hope so.
    I like him, want to see him succeed!

    I really like his attitude,he will be a workhorse if given the chance,he doesn’t lack confidence looking at his goals…good luck to him I wish him every success and hope he gets a crack at FG this year sometime…



  • He is going to need a ton of luck just to get his toe in the door. You look at our squad and you have to ask who is he going to dislodge. Not saying we have a pack of super stars, but for a rookie player who has not played league for a few years he will have his work cut out.

    Hope I am wrong because there is nothing better when you discover a top notch player at a budget price by looking outside the square, but you know it is liking winning lotto, it very seldom happens.

    Anyway hope he is fit for the Sharks trial, I am going out to Cambo and I will be interested to see how he goes



  • @supercoach:

    He is going to need a ton of luck just to get his toe in the door. You look at our squad and you have to ask who is he going to dislodge. Not saying we have a pack of super stars, but for a rookie player who has not played league for a few years he will have his work cut out.

    Hope I am wrong because there is nothing better when you discover a top notch player at a budget price by looking outside the square, but you know it is liking winning lotto, it very seldom happens.

    Anyway hope he is fit for the Sharks trial, I am going out to Cambo and I will be interested to see how he goes

    Yeah I agree with your post Supercoach.

    I admire him putting it all on the line for a chance at NRL glory, takes alot of drive to give up an Olympic dream and for that alone that has to be admired.

    I really hope he makes itand at the very least is given an opportunity.

    All the best Parahi


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