Cherrington keen to learn from the best

After an impressive debut Under 20s season, Manaia Cherrington is now making the most of a pre-season training stint with the Wests Tigers NRL squad.


With a host of NRL stars absent on World Cup duties, Cherrington is amongst a group of Holden Cup players that are now training with the NRL squad.


Playing the same position as Robbie Farah, the young hooker is eager to learn more from the Wests Tigers Captain on his return from representative duties.


Robbie helped me a lot in pre-season season last year, Cherrington said.


Im looking forward to learning new things off him when he returns from the World Cup.


With Joel Luani also on World Cup duties with USA, Cherrington has been gifted an opportunity to gain as much experience as possible with the NRL team in the lead up to Christmas.


Its been awesome, pretty tough but Ive been enjoying it a lot, Cherrington said.


I feel like Im fitting in a bit more than last pre-season, its a big change.





Lightning fast out of dummy-half, the 19-year-old scored 10 tries in 25 games during 2013, earning himself a spot in the Junior Kiwis team alongside teammate Kurtis Rowe.


It was definitely the highlight of my career so far, Cherrington said.


Representing my country was a great honour and it was an unreal experience meeting the rest of the squad.


Cherrington is still eligible for the National Youth Competition next season, with the 2013 semi-finalists embarking on a new era under Andrew Webster.


With Todd Payten moving up to NRL Assistant Coach for 2014, Webster will take over as Under 20s Head Coach a familiar face for a lot of players in the squad.


I have had him (Webster) as a coach before with Balmain SG Ball, Cherrington said.


Webby brings a lot of experience and is a really good coach.


He helped me out a lot earlier in my career and Im looking forward to playing under him again.


Todd (Payten) was a great coach this season and Im sure he will slot in perfectly at an NRL level.


Cherrington will strive towards his dream of playing NRL for the Wests Tigers but knows there is plenty of hard work ahead..


My goal for 2014 is to hopefully get one game of NRL and cement my spot in the Under 20s side at hooker, Cherrington said.


I want to prepare physically and mentally for next year.


It all comes back to hard work and dedication.