Back on the field and soaking in the atmosphere of pre-season training, Joseph Manu has been learning from teammates both old and new.
After suffering a horrific facial injury at the back end of last season, the tearaway centre is ready to get back to his best in the Tricolours in his seventh season in the top grade.
With the likes of experienced campaigner Kevin Naiqama and fellow under 20s Premiership-winner Paul Momirovski arriving at the Club, the 25-year-old has been thriving on the training and is looking forward to featuring in a backline that boasts a number of strike weapons.
“They’re quality players,” Manu said of his new teammates.
“I’m enjoying it at the moment and learning from those boys. It’s been good getting back into training. It’s been tough.
Manu: "There's Good Competition Out There"
“There are some new boys here and it’s good to see some of the old boys too. I’m really enjoying it and it’s a good time of the year to get our goals down. I’m looking forward to the season
“Kevvy had a good run there in the UK with a few championships. The knowledge that he has in the game, he’s been around for a while. Paulie I played within the younger grades, so it’s good to see him here at the Roosters.
"There’s a lot of spots in the backline, we’ve got some good players so it’s good battling it out there and there’s good competition.”
One familiar face who won't be taking the field with the New Zealand International is former wing partner and 276-game veteran Brett Morris, who has seamlessly transitioned into his new role at the Club as Assistant Coach.
While their new relationship is still a little foreign, Manu says that his previous experience alongside the flying winger has put him in great stead, and endorsed Morris' prowess in a coaching capacity.
“He’s pretty good to me,” Manu chuckled.
“We’ve got that relationship from when he first came here being wing and centre partners so I’ve got that bond with him there.
“I wasn’t surprised at all to see him come in as an assistant coach. It’s great to see him there and obviously, it’s a bit different with him in front of the whole team.
“But he’s always had that knowledge of the game, he’s really smart so I enjoy still learning off him.”
For Manu, the new season is all about bringing consistent football and self-improvement both on and off the field, but not before taking a few more hits on the training pitch ahead of the Round 1 clash against the Newcastle Knights.
There’s a lot of spots in the backline, we’ve got some good players so it’s good battling it out there and there’s good competition.Joseph Manu On his fellow outside backs
“Just like everyone, I’m really excited for this season," he said.
“I want to get out there and play some consistent footy. When I get the opportunity to put on the Roosters jersey I really enjoy it and it’s something I love to do.
"I want to be the best person I can be on the field and off the field. It’s going to be an exciting year.
“We’ve got a new stadium coming up at the end of the year, a few big games throughout and I’m looking forward to that.
“For now, we’re getting out there and smashed on the (training) field. There are a lot of good things to look forward to but we’re just focussing on now and it’s been going well so far.”