Huddersfield prop Shannon Wakeman is more determined than ever to prove he can cut it at the top level.
The 26-year-old previously signed a contract with the St George Ilawarra Dragons but failed to make a first-team appearance for the NRL side.
“I’m still building my fitness after surgery at the end of last season,” he said.
“I’m still not 100% at the moment but once I get there I think I’ll be able to prove that I was worth the buy and it was worth coming over here.”
Wakeman, who arrived from the Ilawarra Cutters, was told Super League would suit the way he plays.
“My previous coach had played over here before and he said the game would suit my style as a middle,” he told Love Rugby League.
“I thought I’d give it a try and obviously I wanted to experience a new culture.”
Wakeman explained Huddersfield head coach Rick Stone played a big role in his move because of how genuine he was.
“I want to play for someone who seems like they’re genuinely interested in bringing me to a club and Rick wants me here,” he added.
“He is a really good bloke and knows what he is talking about.”
A first appearance for Italy at this year’s World Cup would be music to his grandparents’ ears, according to Wakeman.
The forward qualifies for the Azzurri because his mother is Italian.
“I know my grandparents would be really proud so it would make me really proud to make them happy and it would be a great experience,” he said.
“It’s a high level of football so I’d love to play it but we’ll see what happens with selections.”
Italy came through a play-off against Russia to book their place at the tournament and are in group D alongside Ireland, USA and Fiji – their first match will be against the Wolfhounds in Cairns, situated in the Australian state of Queensland.