Dyldam Parramatta Eels outside back Tyrell Fuimaono has trained with the NRL First Grade squad over the past two months of pre-season training.
Making the step up from the Eels Under 20’s setup, the 19 year old has noticed a difference in professionalism since training with the First Grade squad.
“It is quite a jump up into the NRL squad from the Under 20’s setup,” Fuimaono said.
“The physicality and effort you have to bring in to every session, there is a strong standard there. Every day is 100 percent,”
“There is another step up in professionalism, and everybody comes in ready to work.” He added.
A player who has gained plenty of praise from a young age, Fuimaono continued to gain plenty of experience in 2015 with representative honours in the victorious Junior Kangaroos and NSW Blues Under 20’s sides.
The talented youngster has continued to learn during the Blue and Gold pre-season off his experienced teammates.
Still eligible for the Holden Cup competition in 2016, if a First Grade spot eludes Fuimaono, he hopes to take his learnings and knowledge back to the U20’s and make an impact.
“In the 20s, it fluctuates and maybe you muck around here or there, but in the NRL squad, everyday is serious,” Fuimaono said.
“Hopefully I can earn my spot in the NRL side, but if not, I will take the few things that I have learnt here and bring that knowledge back to the younger boys.”
Whilst Fuimaono suffered an early set back at the beginning of pre-season training, recovering from an ankle injury sustained in the 2015 season, he is glad to be back out on the training paddock, hopeful for the year ahead.
“When I was in the rehab group, I was watching the boys train and I couldn’t wait to get out there. It is an awesome feeling to have recovered from injury and be back out there,” Fuimaono said.
“Looking at the year ahead, now that my ankle is better, it’s all about giving it my best shot and we will just see,” he added.
“Where I may end up is unknown, but I am just going to give it my best shot.”
The Eels pre-season schedule is confirmed, with the Blue and Gold taking part in the 2016 Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines, pre-season trials against the Gold Coast Titans and Penrith Panthers and a Blue and Gold Army Festival.