New Wests Tigers recruit David Klemmer has opened up on the meeting with Tim Sheens and Benji Marshall that helped him sign with his new club.
Klemmer joined the Tigers on a three-year deal after being part of a swap arrangement between the Tigers and Knights for playamker Jackson Hastings. The 29-year-old enters the team after six seasons and 113 games with the Bulldogs, followed by four seasons and 81 appearances at Newcastle.
His career in the NRL includes representative honours of NSW City, New South Wales and Australia where he has played a combined 35 games.
Klemmer spoke to Fox Sports about being grateful that the Tigers wanted to sign him and feeling wanted by the coaching staff.
"‘Sheensy' was pretty keen on getting me down here so I felt wanted... And that's probably what you want as a player — you want to feel like you're needed," Klemmer said.
"It was in the off-season, it was late too — they were about to start training again. I sat down with ‘Sheensy', then I sat down with Benji and I just knew straight away what they wanted from me and where this club's going."
Klemmer is no stranger to being coached by Sheens. From 2009-2015, Sheens coached the Australian team which granted Klemmer his international debut in 2014.
Sheens and Marshall will be hoping to get everything out of Klemmer as they try and move off the bottom of the ladder.
After a disappointing year with Knights where they finished 14th with six wins, Klemmer is looking to hit prime form this season. The same form that earned him an appearance on the international stage.
Even though he was voted as Newcastle's Players' Player for 2022, he struggled to have an impact when it mattered. Although he averaged a team-high of 146 running metres and 28 tackles per game, he couldn't get them over the line in several games.
Klemmer is only one of a handful of new players the Tigers have signed this season. Another recruit, Apisai Koroisau, spoke about his new teammate and the intensity he has brought to pre-season training.
"He wound the clock back last year," Koroisau said, speaking to Fox Sports about Klemmer.
"But what I'm seeing now is the intensity he brings to training is rubbing off on everyone around him."
"He'll take one carry and it'll be harder than anyone else's so then everyone can see he's not playing around."
The Tigers will begin their new era under Sheens on Sunday, March 5 against the Gold Coast Titans at Leichhardt Oval.