Back rower Raymond Faitala-Mariner joined the Bulldogs two months ago from the New Zealand Warriors and whilst having now seemingly secured his spot in the starting 17 on a regular basis, there are other areas of his life where he has had to make changes.
After arriving in Sydney with nothing but his clothing, the staff at the club have helped him get his life sorted on this side of the Tasman, with the 22-year-old previously admitting that his girlfriend and sister had looked after him before.
“Back home everyone does everything together as a family where as here I’m here by myself and I guess it’s a learning curve for me,” he said.
I’ve got to find my independence to do things on my own and find new hobbies.”
With a move to another country and the need to settle in quickly to his surrounds and new club, Faitala-Mariner has enjoyed his time here so far and has praised the way his new team-mates have accepted him into the club.
“I’m enjoying it heaps, I’ve been loving the new club and a new environment with the team. I guess it’s a culture shock but I’m adapting to it and I’m liking it heaps.”’
Adapting to a new life has only been half the battle for the Otahuhu Leopards junior with representative forward Josh Jackson taking him under his wing and helping him get up to speed with the way the Bulldogs play.
“He grabbed me a few weeks ago before my debut and took me to the side and we went through all the plays as a second rower and my job as a back rower.”
And off the field?
“To be honest all of the boys have been helping me out, but to pick some of the boys out would be Sam Kasiano, Greg Eastwood and Josh Reynolds has been helping me out too and everyone in general, asking me for rides when I didn’t have a car, texting me to see if I’m all good or keen for a feed.”