Morris twins assist Lafai's Red V switch
Dragons recruit Tim Lafai didn't have to look far for advice when considering his move to the Red V, with former teammates Brett and Josh Morris playing an influential role in the centre's shift to the twins' former club.
Comforting the 24-year-old as he prepared to make the switch to the Dragons, Lafai is already settled into life at St George Illawarra.
Speaking for the first time publicly as a Dragon on Friday, Lafai said the writing was on the wall when his beloved Bulldogs signed New South Wales representative Will Hopoate a fortnight ago.
"I realised probably in the middle of the Bulldogs' pre-season that I felt I needed to start looking for a new club considering everything the club had going on," Lafai said.
"It's been good to settle in with the boys and the club [at the Dragons]. The history and the culture of the club [is really appealing], it's similar to the Bulldogs.
"I asked a few of the boys who used to be at the Dragons like the Morris twins and Chase Stanley and they had good feedback.
"They said it's an awesome club with great fans and that Mary was an awesome coach. He mentored both of the twins and that definitely helped my decision. Mary used to play footy in the centres too so I can see him helping me a lot as well."
After spending the past five years at the Bulldogs, Lafai was buoyed by the fact he was able to leave the club and his relationship with coach Des Hasler and CEO Raelene Castle on exceptional terms.
"I wasn't disappointed rather I was sad. But everyone goes through it; it's the business we're in. Will has just taken his opportunity and I'm here taking mine now," Lafai said.
"It was very hard to leave after five years at the club but everything happens for a reason and I'm happy here now at the Dragons and excited to move on.
"I left on good terms with Raelene and Dessy – they gave me their blessings to go so it was comforting to leave on good terms."
New Dragons teammate Tyson Frizell said Lafai has fit into his new surroundings perfectly, with the squad embracing their new teammate.
"It's nice to see Timmy here. He's fit in nicely," Frizell said. "He has a couple more days left until the end of pre-season for the year and we've been happy to welcome him with open arms."