Ese'ese's Brisbane decision pays dividends
Brisbane Broncos prop Herman Ese'ese has opened up on the teachings of coach Wayne Bennett and his decision to move to Brisbane to be coached by the veteran mentor.
Ese'ese moved to Brisbane from the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in 2015 and secured a contract with the Broncos during the 2016 pre-season.
The 21-year-old has been rewarded for his hard work, already playing five games this season – a huge improvement from the one first grade match he managed at the Bulldogs.
Ese'ese says that although family was a huge factor in his decision to move to Brisbane, he couldn't miss the opportunity to work under one of the greatest coaches in NRL history.
"Wayne Bennett has been helping me out a lot with my game and myself as a person. He is the coach you want to play under," Ese'ese said.
"I've learnt so much off Wayne. I'm enjoying it on and off the field, and I'm looking forward to being coached by him for the rest of the year.
"He's really honest. He'll tell you the truth up front and that’s what you want. He's down to earth and really puts his time into us young fellas.
"I really appreciate the conversations that we have and the time he spends with me. I couldn't miss my opportunity to work with him and that's why I'm here."
Ese'ese is part of a quartet of young Broncos forwards who have made their Brisbane debut this year, with Jai Arrow and Tevita Pangai Jnr (both 20), as well as 18-year-old Jaydn Su'A all making an impact in first grade this season.
The four rookies are discovering their importance in Brisbane's squad over the State of Origin period, with the likes of Matt Gillett, Corey Parker, Sam Thaiday and Josh McGuire all being selected for Queensland.
It means an increased workload for Brisbane's youngsters and Ese'ese says he is still pinching himself that he gets to play in a side featuring Origin stars he grew up watching.
"Us young fellas all stick together and help each other through training. The team camaraderie and culture at the club brings us all together. I'm so happy at the Brisbane Broncos," he said.
"The older guys here teach us so much. You can see at training how much these guys like Corey Parker help the younger guys. They are always talking to us and we all learn so much off them and their experience.
"I grew up watching them and it's just unreal being able to train and play with them."
Brisbane will welcome back Gillett and Corey Oates for Thursday's match against the Canberra Raiders at Suncorp Stadium after Bennett decided to rest the two Queensland representatives for the Broncos' match against New Zealand
Brisbane were well-beaten by the Warriors and they will be desperate to return to their winning ways after losing three in a row.