St George Illawarra Dragons National Youth Competition lock Hame Sele has an unquenchable thirst to be a first-grader in the near future.

The local Kingsgrove Colts junior, who can also play prop-forward, is in the midst of his first pre-season training alongside the full-time first-grade training squad and is quickly learning the step-up required to play at senior level.

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The Australia Schoolboy has singled out prop Russell Packer as a somewhat mentor during the opening phase of the pre-season but has ultimately praised the entire first-grade squad for being welcoming to the younger players.

“I want to get as fit as possible and hopefully get a game in the first-grade team at some stage during the season,” said Sele.

“If that doesn’t work out then I will be happy to play wherever I’m told to.

“It’s been tough training in the heat especially with all the running but it’s what you have to do to be a first-grader.

“I’ve enjoyed being able to meet all the first-graders and being able to ask them questions as well as asking off Paul McGregor too.

“I’ve been focusing on my defensive plays and it helps being able to do that with all the senior guys in the middle who I can learn from.

“Russell Packer has been giving me a lot of advice on what to do and where I should be with my lines.

“I was shocked when McGregor invited me to train but at the same time I was excited as this would help me with my development and get me that little bit closer to playing first-grade.

“Once I got the invitation I started training even before we all met-up to start pre-season just to make sure I was in shape which definitely helped me.

“The first few weeks were tough on the body but I got through it and each week as you get used to it you see the improvements.

“I’ll just continue to work hard and take in all I can and see what happens from there.”