Moga hopeful of Round 1 start
Newcastle Knights recruit Tautau Moga is pushing to be fit for the opening round of the 2018 season as he continues to recover from a shoulder reconstruction.
The former Rooster, Cowboy and Bronco agreed to join the Knights on a lucrative three-year deal in July and will begin training with his new teammates on Tuesday but remains on a no-contact provision until January.
The man who broke into the NRL as an 18-year-old with the Roosters in 2012 joins forwards Mitch Barnett and Daniel Saifiti in the team's rehab group.
Moga, one of the only specialist centres at the club following the departures of Dane Gagai (South Sydney) and Peter Mata'utia (Leigh Centurions), faces the likelihood of a disrupted preparation leading into next season.
"The back of my shoulder copped a knock, and it’s torn," Moga said of the injury.
"[Rehab] is going good, seven weeks now since my op. I'm running tomorrow (Tuesday)."
The 23-year-old is coming off the most successful season of his career, with 27 appearances and 10 tries for the Broncos in 2017.
While admitting it was difficult to leave the heavyweight Red Hill outfit, Moga welcomed the chance to chase security with a long-term contract.
"Obviously it's hard to move on but I'm happy to be at the Knights and start fresh," Moga said.
"I'm still fairly young and learning the game myself. Hopefully I get to sit down with 'Brownie' (Knights coach Nathan Brown) and figure out what's good for the club and go from there.
"I've only been here a couple of days but the boys are good and coaching staff is welcoming.
"Newcastle is on the rise and we'll go from there."