Wigan Warriors new-boy in at the deep end!
If the weather outside looks a bit bleak, spare a thought for Wigan Warriors new-boy Kaide Ellis.
Straight off a plane from sunny New South Wales...and in at the deep end for week one of pre-season training.
“Obviously the first day of training, it’s getting used to the load, training back-to-back days is tough,” he said.
“And then you have to throw in the English weather as well...that’s a challenge!
“But it’s been good. I’m enjoying it, it’s been tough, the boys and the club have been very welcoming so it’s very easy for me to adjust.”
Despite Wigan’s 2021 campaign only ending seven weeks ago, attention is already firmly focused on 2022 – which has been an eye-opener for the ex-Penrith and St George Illawarra prop forward.
“It was a bit of a surprise, the scheduling it’s quite big,” he acknowledged. “There’s a lot of work and we don’t get much rest.
“It is necessary, though, this period between Christmas, we’ve got to get a load in, running, skills. And after Christmas, we’ll sharpen up a bit and get ready to play.
“The first two weeks are always pretty miserable, but then you get a bit of momentum and it just flows quickly and soon enough we’ll be playing.
“I’m excited to meet the fans. The Covid restrictions have gone a bit quiet now, so hopefully by the time we’re back out playing we’ll have full stadiums.
“I’m keen to get out and do some fan days to meet the locals, I’ve heard they’re pretty passionate so I can’t wait to play.
“Coming from the NRL I don’t want to feel like I can just walk in, I want to earn the respect, start at the bottom and work my way up and hopefully push my way into the starting side.
“Then I want to show I’m here for a reason, show the club why they paid for me to come over here and the fans as well.
“It’s probably a different story to a lot of other NRL players, they come a bit later in their career to retire and do the holiday, the travel side of things.
“I don’t want to get in that mindset of being here to travel and play footy. I’m solely here to play footy and I’m here to win. That’s the only reason I came – it’s to win.”
Ellis is confident his game will be perfectly suited for Super League.
“I’ve got a high work rate, high minutes and a bit of skill,” he said. “I love throwing a couple of offloads around when I’m allowed to.
“In the past, I’ve been told not to do that, but I like playing free-flowing footy, play what I see and just enjoy it, getting through as much work as I can.”
He’s also looking forward to working under a man whose reputation goes ahead of him - even as far as Australia.
“I know Sean O’Loughlin, from watching him play in the World Club Challenges, so it’s pretty cool to be able to work under him,” he added.
“I knew about the club, how successful they have been. But until you see it all up front, it blew me away how professional it is, how we have the players, coaching staff, media and office staff all in one building.
“It feels like everyone is together which makes for a successful club.”
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