Back to business for former Dragon Saffy - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Back to business for former Dragon Saffy

By Melissa Woods 11/10/2010 04:49:13 PM Comments (0)

While the NRL premiership celebrations raged around him, it was back to business for St George Illawarra forward Jarrod Saffy.

The 25-year-old cut his party short to fly to Melbourne three days after winning league's greatest prize to start his career with new Super 15 rugby union entity the Rebels.

But rather than have regrets about leaving behind the code he'd enjoyed such success in, South African-born Saffy said it was an ideal note to bow out on.

"You couldn't ask for anything more, a better closure for my (NRL) career," he said on Tuesday.

"A premiership was a great way to finish and I can move on now and look forward to doing a similar sort of thing in rugby.

"I've left for the right reasons and there are things I want to achieve in rugby so I'm very happy with my decision."

Saffy is returning to his rugby roots. He started his career as a five-year-old in Johannesburg before moving with his family to Australia when he was 15.

He then played at famed rugby nursery St Joseph's in Sydney and represented the Australian schoolboys and Australian Sevens before signing with the Wests Tigers and making his NRL debut in 2006.

"I spent a big portion of my life playing rugby and only played league for the last five years so it's more about going back to where it all started for me," he said.

"I always had the intentions of going back although I never knew when it would be so it was just a matter of timing."

A flanker/No.8, Saffy joined his new team-mates at a four-day pre-season conference outside of Melbourne last week and was impressed.

He will start training in two weeks' time.

The Rebels will be coached by World Cup-winning mentor Rod Macqueen, who Saffy said compared well to Dragons rugby league guru Wayne Bennett.

"I was blown away, it was great, the maturity of all the players, such a great bunch of guys," he said.

"Rod's done a really good job bringing everyone together and recruiting a specific type of person he wants to get the job done.

"We've got a great squad for next year.

"I'm really fortunate to be coached by Wayne and now to have Rod, I'm really lucky to have such great coaches in my career."

Saffy is aiming high and said he wanted to play for the Wallabies.

"But first on the list is getting into the Rebels team and try to play some consistent football and head toward winning a Super 15 championship," he added.

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