After being part of back-to-back premiership campaigns with the Sydney Roosters, new Panthers recruit Zane Tetevano is looking forward to bringing some of that title-winning swagger to the foot of the Mountains.
One of Penrith’s top off-season acquisitions, the 29-year-old New Zealand international will add plenty of much-needed size and experience to Ivan Cleary’s young pack in 2020.
No longer having to commute from the Central Coast to Moore Park each day, Tetevano is loving his new life in the west. He strongly believes working close to home will not only strengthen his relationship with his young family, but it could also do wonders for him on the football field too.
“I’m living in Jordan Springs and am really enjoying it,” Tetevano said.
“You get to wake up with your kids and make breakfast for them each morning. It’s a massive change after living on the Central Coast and having to travel to and from the city.
“Not only do you get that extra time with your loved ones, but it also allows you to put in extra work at training like more video sessions. It’s a massive change but one that I’m embracing.”
While Tetevano is more than relishing his new start, he’s hoping to become a better leader at Penrith – something he wasn’t quite ready for at the Roosters. The 111kg prop said he’s looking forward to some added responsibility.
“I’m excited to step into this new role, leading from the front and having some responsibility. Ivan hasn’t asked that of me, I want to go out and do that for myself,” Tetevano admitted.
“I learned a lot of tools at the Roosters and I’m hoping to apply those here.”
Saturday night Penrith supporters will get their first glimpse of their new recruit in action when Tetevano takes the field as a member of the Maori All Stars team. He will line-up alongside fellow Panthers Malaki Watene-Zelezniak and James Tamou as they take on the NRL’s best Indigenous players on Queensland’s Gold Coast.
Tetevano, who was born in Tokoroa, said he’s looking forward to representing his mother’s side of the family in the special clash, with carries with it plenty of emotion.
“I was raised by my grandparents and didn’t really know my mother’s side, so I contacted my mother’s younger brother to get an understanding of who I am, my background and my tribe,” he said.
“I’m excited to learn a lot more about my own culture.”
Nathan Taylor is the Weekender’s Deputy Editor and Senior Sports Writer. He also compiles the weekly Chatter on the Box TV column. Nathan is an award-winning journalist, who has worked at the Weekender for nearly a decade.