Sharks star Siosifa Talakai has opened up on his return to the NRL, admitting he thought his rugby league profession was over years in the past.
The 24-year-old made his first grade debut in 2016 for the Rabbitohs, however had his contract torn up by the South Sydney board after which coach Michael Maguire.
After spending the rest of the season in Penrith’s reserve grade facet after linking up with former Panthers normal supervisor Phil Gould, Talakai had no contract provides and thought his time was up as knowledgeable athlete.
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“I thought my career was over back in 2018, I think I was a bit immature when I was at the Rabbitohs,” Talakai mentioned to Fox League’s Jake Duke.
“I thought I was at the top of the club, I thought I was bigger than the club and just bigger than the whole NRL… and being a professional.
“(I was) young, but young and dumb, just silly mistakes, breaching contracts and an attitude thing.
“Had Greg Inglis, Sam Burgess, Adam Reynolds, Cody Walker, had all these big stars in my team and I thought I was one of them, but I was mud.”
Talakai revealed his sacking was “heartbreaking” after seeing the toll it took on his household, with a portion of his contract cash going again to assist his brothers, sisters, mother and father and grandparents.
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“At the time, my dad was the main source of income and he was supporting six kids, my mum and my grandparents lived with us as well,” Talakai defined.
“He was the main income in a four-bedroom house, just seeing that (it was) very heartbreaking, the pressure that my dad had to go through week in week out making sure there was a roof over the top of our heads… it was heartbreaking just seeing that I wasn’t able to help my dad.”
But as a substitute of holding it towards the Rabbitohs, Talakai believes his sacking was precisely what he wanted to be taught his lesson, in any other case he most likely “would have ended up in prison”.
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To make ends meet and contribute for his household, the barnstorming backrower took up a job as a garbo, working the streets of Leichhardt and Balmain at 4am.
“It just grounded me,” Talakai mentioned.
But his ardour for rugby league by no means light and the gun edge ahead labored his means up the ranks within the Sharks feeder membership, Newtown Jets, earlier than his NRL return and securing a spot in Craig Fitzgibbon’s high-flying Sharks facet.
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