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Eight years ago Sam Perrett was a teenage boy watching “bits” of the Roosters win their last NRL Grand Final against the Warriors on television with his footy-mad Dad … but with little interest in the game himself.

This Sunday there is no denying his passion to help the Roosters win their first Premiership since that 2002 Grand Final and their 13th in history, and his first since his NRL debut in 2004 when they take on the Dragons at ANZ Stadium.

“Whenever I am thinking about it I can feel my heart rate bumping up a bit … it’s really exciting,” said Perrett.

“I have experienced some grand final pressure from 2004 with the Roosters Jersey Flegg team which went through the season undefeated.

“I have my routine and I won’t go outside of that just because it is the Grand Final.”

It will cap an incredible journey for Perrett, 25, who has already experienced some monumental milestones in a short time.

Just a year after watching the Roosters’ 2002 victory Perrett started playing rugby league for Currumbin High School on the Gold Coast and was named in the Australian schoolboys team.

12 months later he made his NRL debut for the Roosters, playing just one game in season 2004, while a member of the undefeated Jersey Flegg team which won the Premiership (with Dragons lock Jeremy Smith as a team-mate).

He played a handful of NRL games in 2005 but 2006 was the breakthrough season for the New Zealand-born winger who scored seven tries in 17 appearances … and he never looked back.

He made his debut for New Zealand in 2007 and was a member of the 2008 Kiwi team which staged a major upset over the Kangaroos to win the 2008 World Cup in Australia.

“I remember watching bits of the 2002 Grand Final with my Dad,” Perrett said. “I wasn’t yet a footy fan. I never thought I would be playing professional football.”

After the Grand Final Perrett will then turn his attention to the Four Nations tournament between Australia, England, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, running from October 23 to November 13. The New Zealand team will be named on Tuesday.

“My focus is on the Grand Final at the moment, but I do love my time with the (Kiwi) boys … they are like family,” Perrett said.

“I have had texts from all of them, including coach Steve Kearney, with words of encouragement for this weekend. It’s a great culture that we have developed within the squad.”
Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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