When Tyson Frizell runs out for Dragons training there is a pair of hungry young eyes fixed on him, eager to learn from one of the elite forwards in the NRL.
In the weights room, completing skills work, running drills. One young Dragons forward routinely makes the most of training with Frizell every day.
The Kangaroos star is a hero to Hame Sele. Since Sele started training with Paul McGregor’s senior squad he has made the most of his opportunity. What he has learnt is what Sele hopes will give his career a head start.
The Dragons returned to training last month ahead of the 2018 campaign looking to build on a rollercoaster season. While they were the form team of the competition and sat on top of the NRL table after seven rounds, St George Illawarra’s season imploded as they limped home to narrowly miss the finals.
Frizell is yet to return to Dragons training with his 2017 season only ending on Saturday night after helping Australia lift the World Cup. But Sele, who is enduring his third first grade pre-season, told the Leader he couldn’t wait for Frizell’s return.
“It’s just inspirational, watching him train. He’s just a beast,” Sele said.
“Every week he just trains really hard even when he’s got little niggles. He’ll just work his way around that and put his best foot forward.
It’s just inspirational, watching him train. He’s just a beast.Hame Sele on Tyson Frizell
“He gives me tips each week. I talk to him what I can improve on. I always go to him. He just helps me calm down a bit and stay relaxed.”
Sele, 21, made his NRL debut last season as the Dragons thrashed Manly at Brookvale Oval. The Kingsgrove Colts and St George Dragons junior, born at Kogarah, made 15 appearances in the red V from the bench in 2017 and even made his representative debut after being called up to play for City.
That experience has given him a taste for more. While the Dragons have lost Russell Packer, Josh Dugan and Taane Milne, they have signed top quality recruits in Ben Hunt and James Graham.
Sele’s goals are simple for next season – to play more minutes and to keep learning.
“[I want to keep] learning off the experienced players like Jack de Belin, Leeson Ah Mau, Paul Vaughan, Tyson Frizell. All those boys are really good at helping us young boys improve ourselves in getting better each week,” he said.
“Our new signings will help our team improve next year. Ben Hunt, James Graham... hopefully we can get in that top four.”