Terepo sets his eyes on starting squad

IF Peni Terepo had a penny for every time he has been asked about that try he would be a millionaire.

You remember that try?

The one where he brushed off four defenders, switched hands to fend and dived under the posts against the Sydney Roosters.

It was six games into his first NRL season; a breakout season that saw him play 17 games, score four tries, represent Tonga at the World Cup and establish himself as a regular member of the first grade team.

It would be enough to put a smile on most players' faces. But not Terepo.

"It was pretty good but in the end we need to win more games," Terepo said of his debut year.

"I'm really looking forward to this season under Brad Arthur and improving — as an individual and with the team."

The 22-year-old had a solid start to his second NRL season coming off the bench in the Eels' 36-16 win against the Warriors.

It was the first chance for Terepo to display his new found fitness courtesy of a tough pre-season.

Western Sydney's heatwave became the perfect foil for Terepo to improve his fitness and become a more rounded player.

"I want to try and get fitter every day," said Terepo, who lists Nathan Hindmarsh as his idol.

"If I can improve my fitness that will help me improve my game.

"The Nines was a tough test of fitness because the games were so quick but I felt OK after it so I'm looking forward to a big year."

The qualified butcher hopes to carve out a spot in the starting team.

But for now he is happy being part of a strong back row rotation that includes Manu Ma'u: the man Terepo has been most impressed with in the pre-season.

"Manu has been training well and been impressive in everything he has been doing," he said.

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