New Dyldam Parramatta Eels signing Beau Champion has been plagued with injuries over the past few seasons, however the talented centre is ready to secure his spot in the Blue and Gold after his off-season move from South Sydney.
“It’s been a good change. I have really enjoyed the offseason so far so I just have to keep pushing forward and it hopefully puts me in good stead for the season,” said Champion.
Champion has settled into the squad quickly, enjoying the pre-season training camp to Seattle along with the pre-season training and is confident that the Eels will bring a change of fortune after his past few seasons were injury plagued.
“I see this club on the rise and an opportunity for me to further my career. Unfortunately it’s been ravaged by injury the last couple of years but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to come out to Parramatta to a good club,” Champion said.
“The blokes have been good. We got to bond when we went to Seattle, which was a fantastic trip and I got to know a lot of the boys. It’s a real good club out here, with some really good people and a good culture.”
The Seattle trip was a beneficial one for Champion who was confident that the trip would become a regular across all the NRL clubs.
“We really bonded as a team. We trained really hard whilst we were over there and it gave us an opportunity to see how the NFL did things,” said Gower.
“Even to go to their college games and see how many fans they get to college games, and how professional their setup is, it was just a real good eye opener.“
Despite Champion not having the opportunity to play with recently-departed fullback Jarryd Hayne, he is confident the Eels have the depth to fill the void.
“When I first got here, it was put behind us. We wished him all the best, and everyone was behind his decision but it’s time for us to start looking forward rather than back,” said Champion.
“Everyone has done that and we have some great players to fill that gap and fill his shoes next year. Everybody in the team knows they have to lift a little bit and perform a little bit better.”
Even though Hayne will no longer form part of the new look Blue and Gold backline, Champion knows that there is a healthy competition to fill the spots in 2015.
“There are some really good players here. We have some talented young players and there will be a lot of competition for those spots, but ultimately, that’s where I want to be playing (in the centres) so ill be doing all I can to cement one of those positions” Champion said.
“I come out here to play First Grade so that’s one of the positions I'll be trying to fill.”