Hoffman counting down to move
New signing Ryan Hoffman has Four Nations business on his mind first but the Kangaroos, New South Wales and Melbourne second rower is relishing the prospect of beginning his three-year contract with the Vodafone Warriors.
Not one to shy away from a challenge, the veteran of 245 NRL games for the Storm is looking forward to helping his new club to greater heights.
“I ducked over there when we got eliminated from the NRL and checked everything out,” he said.
“It's a great set-up there. I know a few of the guys and know the coach (Andrew McFadden) really well.
“[Moving to Auckland] is a challenge I'm looking forward to. I feel that [the Vodafone Warriors] have a lot of expectations on me and what I can bring to the club so I'm enjoying having that pressure on myself and really looking to helping get the club in the right direction and into a successful period.
“It's going to be a bit of change on the family front, moving away from everyone, but football-wise I don’t see the move being a big change. I was in Melbourne for 11 years and they're a fantastic club and I loved every single minute of it and never thought I'd leave.
“But to go somewhere new and fresh is exciting and [a challenge] I'm looking forward to.”
Before Hoffman can turn his attention towards stabilising and adding some extra punch to the Vodafone Warriors, the 2012 NRL premiership winner is focused on keeping the younger brigade of Kangaroos at bay and cementing his own spot within the side.
Australia’s Four Nations squad includes 11 debutants and Hoffman is keen to see the new generation of players don the green and gold.
“There's a great mix of players here. You've got the players up around the 30 [year] mark and most of the other players are just about to turn 20 so it's a great mix of the old and the young,” he said.
“There are some exciting players coming through and I played in that Test in 2007 (in Wellington) when there were 11 of us who made their debut and that's when 'Izzy' (Israel Folau) debuted.
“We get superstars in our game from just giving young fellas opportunities and I think [the selectors] have given the young guys a big opportunity this tournament and I'm looking forward to see what they can do.”
Hoffman lines up in the second row for the Kangaroos on Saturday night when he’ll face three and possibly four of his new Vodafone Warriors team-mates – Simon Mannering, Thomas Leuluai and Shaun Johnson as well as Suaia Matagi who has been named on an extended bench.
Hoffman has a host of honours to his name both in Australia and abroad, including victory in the 2011 Challenge Cup with Wigan, 2014 Origin Series with the Blues and three premierships for the Storm, although two of those were later stripped due to the Storm salary cap scandal.
Winning a major international tournament such as the Four Nations is the final frontier for the Canberra-born back-rower who is now looking to add to his five Test caps by cementing a regular spot in the Kangaroos line-up.
- This content first appeared on nrl.com