'Veteran' Lolohea excited to face Ross
This Monday when 27-year-old Nathan Ross takes the field against the Warriors he will line up opposite a player who in rugby league terms is every bit his senior, despite having only just celebrated his 21st birthday.
While Newcastle flyer Ross was a late arrival in the Telstra Premiership, debuting last year and going on to make eight appearances since, his opposite number on the wing this week, Tuimoala Lolohea, already has 29 NRL games and a Test cap for New Zealand behind him.
"I haven't really seen much of Nathan's footy, I have seen a couple of games of his though and he is a strong fella for a little guy," Lolohea told NRL.com.
"That is one thing I know about him, it's going to be a good game against him, we have played a similar number of games but he is obviously an older fella, so it's going to be good.
"He has got some hops (a good leap) in him, I haven't really been showing my hops lately, but I am just looking forward to playing against someone I haven't played before to be honest."
Between his last competitive game in 2015 and his first of this year, Lolohea has gone from playing halfback to wing, two positions which couldn't be more different when it comes to the level of involvement on a footy field.
After spending periods of 2015 playing at fullback, centre, wing and in the halves Lolohea insists it hasn't been a hard transition, but has stated a desire to get more touches on the ball this Monday at Mt Smart Stadium.
"I am looking to get myself involved more. I have just got to get involved when we are returning kicks a bit more," Lolohea said.
"Plays one and two are the big ones for me and I have got to be more effective with my carries really, knowing when to go across field and when to go forward.
"It's been something to work on for me and something Cappy (coach Andrew McFadden) and I have been having lots of conversations about.
"I was pretty happy with my performance on the weekend. It wasn't my best or my worst, it was somewhere in the middle but that is a positive for me and I am getting better every week."
When playing at Mt Smart Stadium Lolohea has an impressive strike rate, having scored all 12 of his career tries to date on home soil. The Marist Saints junior crossed for a try in seven of the 11 games the Warriors played at the venue last season.