After departing Gold Coast Titans at the end of the 2017 season, prop forward Nathaniel Peteru is now in the midst of preparations for his maiden Super League campaign with reigning champions Leeds Rhinos.
Not many people would willingly swap the sun kissed Gold Coast for the grim winters of West Yorkshire but the 25 year old is looking forward to the challenge, stating that “I am looking to take my game to the next level.” Indeed, with the NRL’s newest team, Peteru was often used as a bench and impact player and, while he enjoyed his time there, he is keen to progress, adding that “realistically, starting every week is the goal.” That will be a huge task for Leeds’ new signing with the likes of Anthony Mullally, Brad Singleton, Adam Cuthbertson and Mitch Garbutt already established first teamers for the Rhinos, something Peteru understands, stating “I have got to work my way in and earn that first. “There’s a lot of good players here and obviously Leeds Rhinos are the champions. “I don’t expect to just walk in, I have got to work hard to earn that.”
Before arriving in the UK, the Auckland born forward spoke to other New Zealanders who told him that his game would suit Super League’s style which Peteru feels is different to the NRL where it is a “very defence orientated type of game” and, having watched some Leeds games from 2017, is very much looking forward to establishing himself more in the northern hemisphere, adding “I have really enjoyed the fresh start. The boys have been really welcoming and I have really enjoyed my time here.”
Peteru is lined up to make his first appearance in the blue and amber in the annual Boxing Day fixture against Wakefield Trinity and the Rhinos’ fans will be no doubt hoping that their new signing can add to an already imposing pack of forwards in 2018 where they will be aiming to retain their Super League crown.