Gagai - Counting down the days
Dane Gagai is already dreaming of pulling on the famous Cardinal and Myrtle and the South Sydney Rabbitohs' gun new recruit is determined to be in peak condition to do so.
The 27-year-old has seamlessly settled into to life at Redfern after a break to recharge and celebrate his extremely successful season with both the Queensland Holden State of Origin team and the Kangaroos.
After hitting the ground running during his first two weeks at training, the 2017 Wally Lewis medal winner is clearly keen to get stuck right in and show everyone what he has to offer.
“I’m just privileged to be a part of a Club with such a great history and great culture,” said Gagai.
“It’s been good mixing it with all the boys, getting right into the swing of things. Everyone has been helpful and I’m loving it.”
After a gruelling 2017 season where he played in 31 games for club, state and country, you could forgive the outside back for feeling a little overworked.
But the the former Newcastle Knight has shown no signs of tiredness, smashing the beep test with a score of 21.5. Yet, Gagai still remained humble.
“I don’t think I really dominated it,” Gagai laughed.
“I had big Sammy [Sam Burgess] and Tom [Thomas Burgess] running it with me so I had to make sure I done good there because they’ve got 20 plus kilos on me. So I just had to make sure I beat them.”
While he is now running alongside his England International teammates, it was only a few months ago that he was competing against them. Memories are still fresh in Gagai's mind of Australia taking out the Rugby League World Cup in a pulsating final against England, but he hasn’t even thought about rubbing in it.
“That’s in the past,” Gagai added. “We all wear the same jersey now so I’m coming here to do my best for the Rabbits.”