Switching clubs is a big enough change in a rugby league player’s life but switching countries is a whole different ball game. That’s what new Storm forward Eliesa Katoa has faced this off-season but he’s not doing it alone.
Katoa has made the switch from New Zealand after spending the last three seasons with the Warriors and has been quick to buddy up alongside fellow new forward Joe Chan who himself is making the move overseas (from France). It also won’t be long until Katoa is joined by another familiar face with the returning Aaron Pene, Katoa’s teammate at the Warriors set to re-join Storm for pre-season shortly.
“It was quite hard, I moved here by myself and my family is still back at home,” Katoa explained.
“The boys are very welcoming. I feel like I’m going to have my family here with the boys.”
Eli Katoa pre-season chat
Warriors teammates last season, Pene and Katoa will both be in purple in 2023 with Pene returning to Storm where he played the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
“I can’t wait to have him back,” Katoa responded when asked about the prospect of linking back up with Pene.
“He told me some crazy stories about pre-season. It will be quite funny to train with him in pre-season here [in Melbourne].”
With a big opening week of pre-season down, Katoa’s aim is one similar to much of Storm’s young brigade who kicked off training this week.
“I’ve just got to get through pre-season – meet some new people, especially the boys who haven’t come back yet, be consistent with my training and stay away from injuries,” Katoa said.
Storm will enter week two of pre-season training on Monday.