It was tough for Mikaele Ravalawa watching from the sidelines while suspended the past two weeks and with the Dragons' young talent, the Fiji international is relieved to have regained his spot.
The suspension of Ravalawa (shoulder charge) and Jordan Pereira (high tackle) for incidents in the ANZAC Day loss to Sydney Roosters and a rib injury suffered by Cody Ramsey against Wests Tigers opened the way for the Feagai twins, Max and Mat, to play together in last Sunday’s 32-12 defeat of Canterbury.
However, Mat now faces six weeks on the sidelines after suffering an ankle injury that cut short his debut after 70 minutes and Ravalawa will take his right wing spot opposite Melbourne’s Josh Addo-Carr in Sunday’s Magic Round clash at Suncorp Stadium.
“I am so happy to be back in the side,” Ravalawa said. “It was pretty tough watching the boys play. I can’t wait to jump back on the field and smash it.
“There are a lot of kids coming through and they are fit and really talented, so I just need to improve myself every game and keep myself fit and healthy.”
Ravalawa watched the Storm’s 50-0 demolition of South Sydney last week and couldn’t help but be impressed by Addo-Carr’s six try haul – the most since Jack Troy, an aspiring sprinter who almost quit the game for a shot at the Olympics, scored six tries for Newtown in 1950.
Storm v Dragons - Magic Round
However, he is looking forward to testing himself against the NSW and Australia representative and will have a new centre partner in Tyrell Fuimaono after Zac Lomax broke his thumb against the Tigers.
“I am just going to try to stay out on him,” Ravalawa said. “He is a good player and he is fast. I can’t wait to verse him this week and to challenge myself in there against him. I am so excited about going up to Brisbane, and for a big game too.
“This will be my first time playing alongside Tyrell so we will be working together out there. He is fit and he is a good defender so it will be good. I am pretty comfortable to come back into the side and do my job for the boys.”
Meanwhile, Mat Feagai said Jack Bird had given him encouragement about overcoming his latest injury setback after only playing two matches since returning from a knee injury.
“Jack was the first one I spoke to just about injuries in general when I did my knee. He has had a lot of injuries and he has bounced back so it has given me a lot of confidence having him in my corner.
“I dodged a bullet with surgery. I have torn two ligaments and the third one is holding up so I was a bit lucky there. I’ve got six weeks off and hopefully I will be back into it.
“To play a game alongside Max, both on the wings, was an amazing feeling and one I won’t forget. Hopefully we can both find a starting spot in first grade and just keep at it."