There’s no question about it, James Segeyaro wants to be Penrith’s full-time hooker… the sooner, the better.
Last Sunday the 23-year-old PNG international started his first game of the season at dummy half in place of injured co-captain, and the man that’s held the job for the past five seasons, Kevin Kingston.
Segeyaro enjoyed his best game of the year playing the full 80 minutes. He scored his first try of the season and his combinations with Penrith’s other key men played out seamlessly.
Speaking exclusively with The Western Weekender on Tuesday morning, Segeyaro fell just short of demanding the full-time hooker role go to him permanently.
“I actually rather starting than coming off the bench because you get used to the game straight away and I can get my rhythm going a bit earlier. When I come off the bench I suppose I try a bit too hard sometimes,” he said.
Segeyaro revealed conversations have occurred between himself and coach Ivan Cleary about the possibility of having him start over the more experienced Kingston as the season rolls on.
“Before I came to Penrith I sat down with Gus and Ivan and it’s in the plans for the future because that’s what I came here for, to have the starting jersey and be a consistent NRL hooker,” he said.
“I look at blokes like Michael Ennis, Cameron Smith and Jake Friend and I just want to be like them.
“Ivan and I have a chat every now and then and it’s what he feels is best for the team at the moment. Whatever he has planed I’m happy to go with but, at the end of the day, I want to be here for as long as I can and stay out on the field for as long as possible.”
With the ball now firmly in Cleary’s court, a couple of huge decisions must be made in order to not only keep Segeyaro happy but to maintain a strong line-up capable of making the finals.