With the help of Rabbitohs teammates, including old friend Greg Inglis, new recruit Dane Nielsen has settled into his new surroundings at Redfern in a short space of time.
Less than a month after arriving at the Rabbitohs, Nielsen donned the red and green jersey for the first time over the weekend as part of the Club’s 2016 Charity Shield victory over St George Illawarra – the three-time Origin player bolstering the team’s defence out wide during the second half.
For his part, the 30 year old has enjoyed the challenges at Redfern so far and has praised those around him for helping him settle so quickly.
“It’s been a lot of fun and a good challenge as well,” said Nielsen.
“Obviously coming onto the scene late in the pre-season means you have a little bit extra to learn because the team’s already been together since October or November – I’ve been here since mid-January.
“But everyone’s been really helpful in getting me up to speed and it’s great to be back in an environment such as this. Even in a very short space of time, you can feel how dedicated everyone is whether it’s in the team or the staff and that just makes me more determined.
“Greg (Inglis) has been a mate of mine for a long time and he’s had me over for dinner and done my washing as well, so all of those things have helped me settle in.”
With plenty of experience, having played for the Sharks in 2007 before stints with the Storm (2008-12), Warriors (2013-14) and Dragons (2015), amassing 111 NRL games, Nielsen will be looking to nail down a spot in the side’s centres in 2016 .
The new recruit was part of Grand Final victories in 2009 and 2012 with the Storm, and would also go on to represent Queensland in three State of Origin clashes in 2011 and 2012, as well as the Indigenous All Stars in 2013. But Nielsen is leaving nothing to chance, fully knowing that there is much work to be done.
“There’s plenty for me to work on – getting the kilometres in the legs for example and I’ve been working at that the last few weeks,” said Nielsen.
“As the weeks continue to go on, everything will improve – I’ve learnt a lot already and really benefited from the set-up here, but there’s lots more to learn.
“I’m approaching it day by day, session by session, and week by week at the moment, focusing on getting all those little things right so I can do my job for the team.
“When that opportunity comes, I’ll be making the most of it for sure. I can’t wait to contribute to the team the way I know I can and doing it for all the Club’s Members. We see them every day down at Redfern and they’re always so excited about their footy and the Rabbitohs. It’ll be pretty special to represent this Club.”