Tiger Sue ready for new responsibilites
A proud New Zealand-born Samoan international, Wests Tigers forward Sauaso Sue is hoping his place in the club's seven-man leadership group will put him in a position to mentor his fellow young Pacific Islanders this season.
At just 23 years old Sue was named in the Tigers' leadership group by coach Jason Taylor in December.
After getting past the initial shock of the appointment, Sue is now hoping that the Tigers' young cubs see him as someone they are able to talk to about life on and off the field.
"Me being approachable all the time and being able to talk to everyone at the club is something I'll be out to do now I'm in the leadership group," Sue told NRL.com.
"I'll still be doing what I usually do, like joking around all the time, but anyone can come to me now and discuss how they are travelling and if anything is wrong with training and stuff like that.
"I don't think much of my game will change. I will still run the ball hard, but now I suppose in the back of my mind I know I'm in the leadership group and I have to give a bit more each game now."
Joined in the group by veterans Matt Ballin, Robbie Farah, Dene Halatau and Chris Lawrence, Sue said his newfound position at the Tigers will only improve his performances on the field.
"They have taken me under my wing for my first year in the leadership group. Matt Ballin is such a good bloke," Sue said.
"They have taught me a lot of stuff about leadership and how to hold myself in the group.
"I feel like a little kid sometimes but it's been good learning how to balance work and play."
In line with his work at the club, Sue was recently appointed a beyondblue ambassador with the Wests Tigers partnering up with the mental health organisation for the next three years.
In honour of Mosese Fotuaika, a young Tiger who took his own life in 2013 and someone who Sue was close with, the club's charity partnership will pay dividends for all involved.
"When they approached me I was very excited. I knew a little bit about beyondblue but not as much as I would've liked, with the passing of Mosese and how common depression has become in the NRL, it's good to have them on board," Sue said.
"Hopefully they can educate us so we can maybe prevent such serious stuff occurring again.
"When Mosese passed away, there were plenty of Islanders at the club during that time so it really hit home. So with Chris [Lawrence] and me as ambassadors, I think it'll help break down some walls."