James Segeyaro is already living his boyhood dream and hopes to play for Brisbane on Friday after a whirlwind 48 hours transported him from the Newtown Jets to the club he grew up supporting.
The 28-year-old hooker trained at Broncos HQ on Monday for the first time after a sleepless night in Brisbane as he tossed and turned with nerves about the lifeline handed to him.
The Broncos reached out to the former Sharks rake in the wake of Andrew McCullough being ruled out of action for six to eight weeks with an MCL injury.
After playing the first couple of months of the season with Newtown in the Canterbury Cup, he is ready to come off the bench on Friday if selected against the Sydney Roosters as back-up to inexperienced Jake Turpin.
"It happened within 48 hours to be honest. I got a call from my manager letting me know there was an opportunity up here and he said 'are you keen?' and I said 'one hundred per cent. Get me there'. It's a dream come true," Segeyaro said.
"I didn’t get much sleep last night. I have been at a couple of clubs before but I was just so nervous to come in. I woke up at 2.30am and then again at 4.30am.
"It is good to get my first session out of the way. It was the butterflies like my first day at school sort of thing. I’ve settled in with the boys now so I am pretty stoked.
Match Highlights: Sea Eagles v Broncos
"Growing up in Cairns the Broncos were my number one team even though the Cowboys were down the road. I didn’t ever think it would be a possibility playing for the Broncos but Darren Lockyer was my favourite player and I had photos up of Karmichael Hunt."
Segeyaro was squeezed out of Cronulla's top 30 due to the club having $350,000 wiped off their salary cap.
"The club was in a financial way where they couldn’t register my contract. It was just the situation. It was no one’s fault," he said.
"I wanted to stay at the club because I was settled mentally but as soon as the opportunity came up to come to the Broncos I jumped at it. To come back to Queensland, there is not much distraction here and now I can focus on footy and every day try and get better.
"Hopefully I can do the boys proud and get them a win [against the Roosters]. It is a challenge to test myself against the best. They have been red hot this year. I just want to bring energy and the little things when I come that can be a turning point, and hopefully give them the spark they need."
The former Panthers and Cowboys journeyman has signed for the rest of 2019 but has his sights set on an extension. "I can only hope," he said.
Segeyaro also has several irons in the fire off the field, and trained as a barista at former Dragons winger Jason Nightingale's cafe.
"I was still training and doing that on my days off and it is something I am passionate about," he said.
Every try from Round 9
"Outside of footy you have got to find a passion because footy isn’t going to last forever. I have a clothing label as well, and coffee and hospitality is something I want to get into later.
"If I am investing a lot of money in something I wanted to make sure it is something I like day-to-day.
"Sometimes in the footy world you can live inside a bubble so it was a good mental break from footy."