Grant wants Blues jersey back
Rabbitohs recruit Tim Grant's first job is to try and nail down a spot in the Rabbitohs' muscular forward pack, but he makes no secret about the fact he'd love to add to his two NSW jerseys.
Grant was consigned to playing in the NSW Cup at Penrith in 2014, his final season at the club he debuted for back in 2007, seemingly more because of the fact he was departing than for personal form reasons.
But Grant refused to blame anyone at Penrith for his disappointing 2014 season and said he is looking forward to settling into the proud South Sydney club and hopefully earning his rep jersey back.
"It's been really exciting. I've moved house, I'm in a whole new community, experiencing new things, it's been great," Grant told NRL.com at this week's Charity Shield launch.
Of his time playing NSW Cup, he diplomatically said it was about doing what was best for the team.
"Whether I agreed with it or not, it had nothing to do with me. It's the coach's call and at the end of the day we're players and they're coaches and you support their decisions.
"For me it's just about enjoying my footy again and being happy and being the best player I can be for my teammates."
Grant was quick to dismiss suggestions it would be up to him and fellow new recruit Glenn Stewart to try and fill the huge boots left by rugby-bound stars Sam Burgess and Ben Te'o.
"I don't think it's a responsibility to fill in for Sam Burgess. The reason I'm at Souths is to do the best I can do and be the best I can be," he said.
"I don't feel that I've got anything to prove to anyone. I just want to be the best teammate I can be and play the best footy I can for South Sydney."
Grant made a big impact in his State of Origin debut in the second game of 2012, flattening Test and Origin legend – and his good mate and Penrith teammate – Petero Civoniceva with his first hit-up; something that it's tough remembering seeing happen to the formidable Fijian before or since.
But after seemingly having nailed down a spot in the Blues' problematic front row spot, Grant hasn't added to the two jerseys he earned in that 2012 series; a broken hand on the eve of the 2013 series cost him dearly.
"I've got a real desire to put on a Blues jersey again, that's for sure," he said.
"For me it's one training session at a time moving forward and just focusing on what my job is at South Sydney.
"For sure [it can't hurt being at Souths]. It's a great environment to be in and I'm really excited to be in South Sydney. The opportunity for me, I'm just preparing for every training session. I'll take it day by day and as the year goes on we'll put them together and see what we end up with."
Grant also spoke in glowing terms of Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire, who was instrumental in bringing him across.
"I think Madge sets the standards with his work ethic. You can't ask for more than that, when the coach is setting the work ethic standard – I think we're in a good spot and he leads by example," Grant said.
"He's had a lot of success with Super League and obviously winning the NRL Grand Final last year. You don't get that from not being thorough."
South Sydney's high performance trip to Arizona also provided a great chance for Grant to bond with his new teammates ahead of another tough pre-season.
"I think we were the first NRL club to go away as a whole group and do a high performance camp like that which is new ground not just for our club but for our game and it's a positive thing, it's showing the game's getting more professional on the world stage and we're growing as a game," grant said.
"It was an experience, that's for sure. The opportunity to live with my new teammates for a few weeks was priceless.
"We got a lot done, not just physically but mentally as well. We did Grand Canyon hikes that took all day. Some of the conversations we had with teammates probably doesn't get brought up unless you face a bit of adversity which was good."