New recruits have taste for Tweed
By ADAM WRATTEN
THE Tweed Heads Seagulls' Cook Island contingent has arrived and they are big, mean and hungry for success in the 2005 Queensland Cup rugby league competition.
Together, Graeme Jeffries, Leroy Faavesi and Danny Maireroa bring close to 300kg of formidable pace and power to a new-look Seagulls' line-up.
They will get the chance to impress when the Seagulls take on the US Tomahawks in Lismore on Saturday, February 5.
The Tomahawks came close to pulling off one of the biggest upsets in league history against the Kangaroos in November, and their game with the Seagulls is a curtain-raiser for the NRL trial match between Cronulla Sharks and Paramatta Eels.
Jeffries can't wait for the hit out.
"We saw them (the Tomahawks) play against the Kangaroos and they looked good," he said. "It's going to be a pretty hard task, but I'm looking forward to getting out there."
The new recruits have slotted in well to life with the Seagulls.
"Training has been tough, especially just after Christmas, but I'm enjoying it," Jeffries said. "The guys have all been good and we're looking forward now to helping take the team to the Queensland Cup. That's our number one goal.
"We also want to make sure we get selected for Cook Island internationals."
Seagulls club president Tom Searle said the Cook Island players were a big part of what had been a major recruitment drive in the offseason.
Jeffries, 25, plays centre, Faavesi, 22, is a lock and Maireroa, 25, is a second rower. At 95kg, 95kg and 85kg respectively they weigh in at a combined 275kg.
They join former Wests Tiger's five-eighth Brad Davis, Penrith signing Tim Maccan and Corey Bond as the club's main recruits for the coming season.
Searle said the new additions would complement the younger players.
"This year we have retained the players we wanted and recruited heavily," Searle said.
"We will stick with our policy to keep at least 50 per cent of our Queensland Cup team comprising of locals. I am confident (we will go well)."
Searle said the clash with the Tomahawks would give all newcomers an opportunity to showcase their skills.
In other pre-season games the Seagulls will play Brisbane Norths at Runaway Bay on February 20 and Burleigh in a curtain-raiser to the Penrith v Sydney Roosters trial game at Cararra on February 26.