New Broncos signing Savelio on track to make NRL grade
New Brisbane Broncos signing Andre Savelio is on track to put himself in the frame for selection in the top 17 for round one in 2018 if he continues his impressive performances on the training paddock.
The 22-year-old former Warrington and St Helens forward has several representative players ahead of him with a bench spot his likely entry into NRL football.
Broncos assistant coach Jason Demetriou said the back-rower had been an outstanding performer in pre-season training before Christmas and was on track to achieve his goal of playing in the Telstra Premiership.
"There is no doubt he has set himself to play NRL and from what I have seen so far there is no reason to think he won't," Demetriou told NRL.com.
"Andre is definitely going to push a few players in the squad to make sure they are performing and who knows, he might push himself into the top 17 for round one.
"He's a big body, he's young and he's had a good start to his career over in England at two pretty successful clubs in St Helens and Warrington.
"Andre is one of our fitter players on the training field and with things like his tackle technique he is very competitive.
"I am very excited about what he might be able to deliver and I am looking forward to seeing him playing some games for the Broncos."
It was his childhood dream to play for the Broncos so it is no surprise Savelio idolised two of the club's greats growing up: Darren Lockyer and Corey Parker.
It was "the demeanour and aura" of Lockyer that captivated a young Savelio while Parker's relentless drive to improve throughout his career also inspired.
"I always admired the control Lockyer had," Savelio said.
"Everyone knows how good a player he was but he was a highly respected character.
"You'd put him up there next to Cameron Smith and Thurston in the way they are looked up to by everyone.
"And I've enjoyed watching Corey Parker. You don't play over 300 games by luck.
"He always led from the front, with actions and words, but mainly actions though.
"Corey played more and more Origins and got better as he got older. He was an unbelievable player who worked on his craft."
Savelio acknowledged he had the opportunity of a lifetime at Brisbane after signing a two-year deal.
He spoke to the club several years ago about a possible move when the Broncos were in the UK for the World Club Series but didn't feel he was ready.
"I am stoked, definitely, just to be at one of the best, if not the best, club in the world and playing under the best coach" he said.
"It has been a dream since I was younger.
"I've spoken to (football manager) Pete Nolan a few times about it over the last couple of years.
"I met Wayne Bennett in 2015 and I nearly came over here back then. I was at St Helens at the time, and I was in awe of him.
"I'll play anywhere that Wayne wants me to play, and hopefully I can crack it."
Savelio has watched on as the likes of the Burgess brothers and James Graham forged careers in the NRL.
"That is dream, to come over here and hopefully be as successful as them," he said.
"You look at the English forwards that have come over here and they have gone quite well.
"I wouldn't have come here if I didn't think I could play (NRL). That is the hope, to train hard and hopefully Wayne can see that and I get the chance."