Former Junior Warriors and Junior Kiwi captain, David Bhana is on his way to the biggest stage of his life.
David Bhana (Ngāpuhi) is one of five new faces selected to make their NRL debut for the Newcastle Knights, this Sunday against the Gold Coast Titans.
It's been a labour of love for former Warrior Bhana, who at the end of 2015 reached a mutual agreement with the Auckland-based side to part ways.
"I wasn't too sure what was happening, I just knew what I wanted, and how bad I wanted it" admits Bhana.
Unemployed, with two years of NSW Cup under his belt, Bhana made the life changing move to the mecca of rugby league, Sydney, to chase his top grade dreams.
And the lifeline came in the form of incoming Knights coach, Nathan Brown, and newly appointed Warriors captain, Ryan Hoffman.
"Hoffy' (Hoffman) gave me a real big wrap" says Bhana, who was the subject of conversation between the Warriors captain, and Knights coach.
22 year old Bhana will debut with teammates and twin brothers Daniel and Jacob Saifiti who will make further history when they become the first twins to make their NRL debut together in 108 years of rugby league.
Bhana, a graduate of the University of Auckland, and alumni of Ngā Tauira Māori, the University's Māori students' association will become the latest NRL product of Auckland's Northcote Tigers club.
"Browny (Knights coach, Nathan Brown) just told me that I'd trained outstanding in the pre-season and had impressed him in the trial against the Raiders and he was giving me a shot" gloats an ecstatic Bhana.
Sports journalist, Raniera Harrison speaks with the newest Māori face in the NRL on Te Kāea, 5:30pm, only on Māori Television.