Jordan Rapana and Joseph Tapine may be members of the Canberra Raiders NRL team, but the Canberra-based players are still reminded of home.
“I really enjoy it here,” says Rapana to Newshub, “its somewhere where I would really like to raise a family and I could see myself being here”.
“It’s nice and quiet. The weather is similar, it’s either cold or hot. I came from Wellington, it's a union-dominated place but somehow I found league and I love it,” says Tapine, who is of Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa and Waikato Tainui descent.
The Canberra Raiders are busy preparing for this year’s NRL competition.
“We’re on the right track, everyone is digging in and we’re ready for 2018”. says Rapana, descendant of Ngāti Toa, to Newshub.
Alongside Charlie Gubb (Ngāi Tahu), the boys will want a better season than last year, where they finished in 10th place.
The Raiders will face Gubb's former club and the boys' home side, the NZ Warriors, in 3 weeks’ time.
“They’re a hard team to verse. They’re unpredictable, they have good players. I reckon this year they’ve got the talent, their recruitment on the off-season has been good- they're going to be a tough team to beat,” says Tapine to Newshub.
The first round of the competition is this week, with the Raiders taking on the Titans this Sunday at Cbus Super Stadium in Robina, Queensland.