Sarginson backs Greenwood for Titans
Gold Coast Titans' English recruit Dan Sarginson has given countryman Joe Greenwood an NRL seal of approval with speculation mounting that the St Helens back-rower could be joining the club within the next 48 hours.
Titans coach Neil Henry confirmed during the week that the club had agreed to terms with Greenwood for the 2018-2019 seasons but that now looks certain to be brought forward 12 months providing Zeb Taia can agree to terms with St Helens in the mooted player swap.
Greenwood was actually in Queensland prior to Christmas where he visited the famous Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsundays and snorkelled the Great Barrier Reef, and his love affair with the Sunshine State looks set to continue sooner rather than later.
A 23-year-old back-rower with 26 tries in 78 caps for St Helens to date – including their Round 1 win over Leeds last weekend – Greenwood was one of the 31 England players invited to meet with coach Wayne Bennett prior to last year's Four Nations tournament.
Sarginson was also a member of that group and while the pair didn't get a chance to speak on that occasion, the former Wigan centre knows the Greenwood family having played with Joe's brother James at Wigan.
Currently battling a knee injury that threatens to delay his own introduction into the NRL, Sarginson is confident that Greenwood will make the transition into the NRL and had a word of warning for the playmakers of the Telstra Premiership.
"He likes to target halfbacks and runs a good line," Sarginson said.
"He played at Saints so he was a rival of mine when I was at Wigan. He's a real good prospect and he can tweak a few parts of his game learning off some of the back-rowers here. He'll be a real good player in years to come.
"He's a big lump, he's probably 6-foot-4 or 5 and he's a pretty big bloke. He could probably develop a bit of skill on the back of moving over here and he'll be real good for the future.
"There are a few English players that can come over and up their game against the best in the world and I think we'll start to see a few more in the years to come."
Seen as one of the Titans' key recruits over the summer, Sarginson will not get the opportunity to play a trial game with his new club prior to Round 1 and admits he is "touch and go" for the season opener against the Roosters.
The shift to moulded studs in his football boots and the firmer turf conditions found on the Gold Coast compared to the north of England have caused a pre-existing knee problem to flare up and prevent him from taking any part in the pre-season trials.
But rather than being concerned at falling behind, the 23-year-old says the lay-off has allowed him to add three kilograms to his frame and freshen up ahead of his maiden season in the NRL.
"I had a scan the other day and it's completely on schedule for Round 1. It's a bit touch and go so I'll do some more running [Thursday]," he said.
"I've been running the last week and if it feels good the next day I move on and I'll be ready for Round 1. If I pull up sore the next day I'll have to take it back a step. Bit touch and go but it's feeling real good at the moment.
"I've seen it as kind of a positive where I can work on a few weaknesses and it probably gives me a bit of time off that I haven't had in recent years with some of the international stuff and a couple of other injuries.
"I see it as a real positive, feel really refreshed, ready to go and worked on some weaknesses that I haven't had a chance to in previous years."