Tuimavave glad to finally get a game under his KR belt
HULL KR prop Evarn Tuimavave is hoping he can make up for lost time against Wigan tomorrow. Since coming to east Hull from Newcastle Knights, his preparations for a first season in England have not exactly been going smoothly.
Jet-lag delayed him from meeting up with his new team-mates back in November, before the 28-year-old missed the club's warm-weather training camp in Tenerife the week before Christmas.
Having applied for a licence to drive in the UK, DVLA officials only returned his passport and visa the day after Rovers arrived back from camp.
Having seen his preparations hampered by a number of things, Tuimavave is a little bit behind his team-mates in terms of fitness.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
But the former New Zealand international is confident a good hit-out against Wigan, and Hull next week, can soon bring him up to speed.
"I'd say I'm about five or 10 per cent behind the others," he told the Mail.
"It's been hard to catch up with them, but there is nothing quite like playing in a match for fitness.
"The more games I can play, the fitter I'll get.
"I've only trained for about six weeks, whereas in Australia we get three months to prepare for the season. It's different over here because of the weather and it takes the lungs time to get used to that. But as we go along, I'm sure things will get better."
While Tuimavave sat out the Tenerife trip, he was still put through his paces in the cold surroundings of MS Craven Park.
And, with one eye already on the opening clash against Catalan Dragons, he is experienced enough to know how to look after his body ahead of the big kick-off.
"I know when I'll be ready to play," said Tuimavave.
"I might not have been in Tenerife, but I was getting flogged by one of the academy coaches. There were a few academy players I trained with and it was a tough week for me while the others were out training under the sun.
"I've never been to Tenerife and it would have been nice, but maybe I'll get a chance next year.
"I'm looking forward to emptying my lungs and getting used to the contact side of the game again.
"I'm looking after my body and preparing it for the season.
"Tomorrow is a trial game as we are preparing for round one of Super League so we're taking it one week at a time.
"But it will be a great test for us because from what I've seen and heard, Wigan were one of the best teams in the competition last year.
"It will let us see where we are at after our pre-season."
Tuimavave knows all about Rovers coach Craig Sandercock, having worked with him at Newcastle Knights, and he is pleased to have linked up with him again.
As one of the more experienced players in Rovers' squad, a lot of responsibility will fall on his shoulders in the campaign ahead but the ex-New Zealand Warriors man is optimistic about his side's chances this season.
"I know I can do the job on the pitch and do what Sandy has brought me over to Hull for," he explained.
"It's a young team and the more we keep the group together and the same players on the field the better we'll get.
"Because we are a young team we have to concentrate on our own games and not worry about anyone else.
"If we all do our own job we'll be alright.
"Tomorrow will be a good test and I'm excited about getting out and playing in front of my new fans.
"At the same time, I'm feeling a bit nervous as it's a new chapter in my life.
"But all I have to do is produce on the pitch and hopefully I'll win over the fans."