Meet the 20-year-old butcher who knocked back the golden chance to play under Melbourne Storm master coach Craig Bellamy.
Softly spoken giant Peni Terepo decided instead to stick with the Parramatta Eels, a club in the doldrums.
Although there are three weeks of the season remaining, Eels officials are continuing to plan for next year by signing rampaging prop Terepo to a new two-year deal.
After being left red-faced by the failed recruitment of ageing trio Chris Walker, Carl Webb and Paul Whatuira – who have all since retired – the club is determined to pin its hopes on youth.
“Melbourne offered me a one-year deal, but the people I’ve met at Parramatta, and other people outside of footy, I wanted to stay,” Terepo said.
“Parramatta is like a second home now, and seeing players like Jacob Loko and Pat O’Hanlon, guys I played with in the Toyota Cup, I’d love to play with them and get up there [NRL] as well.
“I can see the change Steve Kearney and his boys have brought to the club. It’s all positive and you can see the club improving.”
Some say the 183cm, 106kg Terepo runs hard and hits like Fuifui Moimoi, the cult hero the youngster would love to model his game around.