It didn't take long for Sean Keppie to enjoy some light-hearted banter with a few of his new Sea Eagles team-mates.
On the first day of training, the talented young prop was quickly reminded about the 2017 Holden Cup Grand Final.
Keppie was on the losing side that day for the Parramatta Eels as the Sea Eagles came from eighth position to win the final Holden Cup premiership and the Club's first U20s title.
The 20-year-old is now in the Manly NRL squad with Jade Anderson, Tevita Funa, Semisi Kioa, Cade Cust, Manase Fainu, and Haumole Olakau'atu, who opposed him on grand final day. Prop Taniela Paseka is also in the NRL squad but missed the grand final through injury.
Parramatta took an 18-14 lead with 10 minutes remaining and held off constant attacking raids from the Sea Eagles and looked destined to take the U20s title.
That was until replacement Manly prop Keith Titmuss dived over for a spectacular try inside the final minute to lock the scores up before Funa slotted the goal over after the siren for a 20-18 win.
"The boys have certainly reminded me who won, don't worry about that,'' Keppie said, with a laugh.
"We were home in that grand final and then....let's just say I don't even want to remember it.
"It was crazy that Manly came from eighth spot to win it."
After playing for the Eels again this season in the Jersey Flegg (U20s), Keppie is now looking forward to the challenge of playing in the Intrust Super Premiership, and eventually, the NRL.
The former Australian Schoolboy is determined to make his name at the Sea Eagles after signing a two-year deal.
Keppie has been a shining light in the U20s competition and was rated as one of the Eels' brightest young stars.
"When the offer came to join Manly, I thought it was the better pathway for me as I can see a future here,'' Keppie said.
"I've only been here for two weeks but everyone involved in the club has made me feel so welcome. I am happy here."
Keppie said the biggest adjustment had been the intensity of the training sessions compared to his days as an NYC player. He weighs in at 108kg.
"The physical contact is certainly different in terms of body sizes. You can feel it when you are working against the NRL players,'' he added.
"Going from three days a week training for three hours to training five days a week for six to seven hours has been tough, but I am getting used to it.
"I pride myself on my defence so I want to keep working hard on that."
Extra-time with Sean Keppie
- Started playing rugby league at the age of four for Narellan Jets
- Played first grade for Narellan at age 16
- Played Harold Matthews and SG Ball for Parramatta
- Grew up as a Bulldogs supporter
- Was in the Wests Tigers U13 Development squad with Taniela Paseka.