Canberra signing Sean Berrigan says he would be honoured to follow in the footsteps of Raiders greats Mal Meninga and Laurie Daley.
Veteran hooker Berrigan joins the club after a season-long stint with the New Zealand Warriors but reveals he has always been a fan.
“When I was a kid I was a massive Raiders fan,” Berrigan enthused.
“They were my team growing up and I followed Big Mal and Daley all through the late eighties and early nineties. When I was twelve if someone had said to me that I’d end up playing for the Raiders I would’ve pinched myself. To be able to pull on that green jersey this year will be a big honour.”
The 33-year-old former Brisbane and Hull FC player is renowed as one of the game’s hardest trainers but pre-season with the Raiders hasn’t been easy, he admits.
“Training has been really tough. Fordy’s [Strength and Conditioning Coach Matt Ford] been tough on us but he’s been very smart about what we’ve done,” said Berrigan.
“The boys are all looking really fit and in terrific shape. I feel really fit too, it’s been the first long pre-season I’ve had in a while. I haven’t missed a session yet and I’m feeling really good. Training’s rolling along nicely at the moment but I think the boys are just getting a bit itchy now to get out there and have a proper game.”
Despite being a veteran of over 200 NRL appearances, Berrigan says he will leave the leadership duties until he is called upon.
“I haven’t really looked to take on too much of a mentoring role,” he said.
“I’m always there if anyone needs to have a chat but if there’s one thing I’ve learnt in life it’s that you learn more from watching other people rather than listening to them. As long as I train hard and lead by example then people are going to learn more. Talk is cheap sometimes so actions definitely do speak louder than words.”