HULL FC signing Ligi Sao admits he cannot believe he is now playing in the same side as NRL legend Gareth Ellis.
Samoa prop Sao is one of the East Yorkshire club’s big captures ahead of the new Super League season starting next week.
Having played with Manly Sea Eagles and New Zealand Warriors, he is looking forward to making his mark in the UK.
He revealed that lining up in the same pack as ex-Great Britain star Ellis - the 38-year-old who starred for Wests Tigers earlier in his career and came out of retirement last season - has proved a real bonus.
Sao, 27, said: “It’s all about the experience coming here to Super League and to get to run around with Gaz Ellis is great.
“He’s someone I watched in the NRL and the next thing I know I’m here playing with him.
“I take my hat off to him; he’s still training as hard as all the other boys and has such high standards.”
Sao has been playing prop alongside England front-row Scott Taylor in Hull’s friendlies.
“It’s exciting to play with Tag, who has done so much for Hull FC, winning two Challenge Cups,” he added.
“I’ll play anywhere in the middle - prop or loose-forward. They’re pretty much the same.
“It’s all about the opportunity. I want to do something different and find enjoyment in the game again which I am doing.
“It’s a different brand of footy over here and so far it’s been enjoyable.”
Sao also got to experience Batley Bulldogs’ famous slope at Mount Pleasant during Sunday’s 38-6 win.
“I’d heard about that slope,” he said with a laugh.
“It was good. It was a good hit out especially for us new boys.
“It reminded us of some of the grassroots games back home. It’s always enjoyable.
“Batley really came at us, especially in the first 10 minutes but they slowly fell off.
“Now we’re looking forward to the opening game at Leeds Rhinos.”