Christian Tuipulotu goes about his daily routine at training with minimum fuss.
But don’t think for one moment, he’s not working hard.
For when it comes to doing the ‘extras’ that can make any player better, Tuipulotu is right at the forefront according to Rubin Ruzicka, the respected NRL Sea Eagles Athletic Performance Specialist.
“Christian’s always asking to do more stuff at the end of training…that extra little bit of work to help him get better. He loves it,’’ Ruzicka said.
“What you see on the field now is testament to what he does at training.”
The rewards are paying off for Tuipulotu, who has crossed for five tries in nine games for the Sea Eagles this season.
The powerful built winger is averaging 132 metres per game. He has made 23 tackle breaks and five line breaks already in 2022.
“I just try to put it all out there to help the boys with my yardage,’’ Tuipulotu said.
“It’s part of my contribution to the team….to help the forwards who work so hard in the middle.
“My yardage comes off the boys’ hard work, so I just try and jump on the back of that.”
A quietly spoken and polite young man, Tuipulotu credits part of his impressive form to a settled lifestyle at home and his Christian faith.
“I’m very grateful for the opportunities that have come my way. All glory to God,’’ Tuipulotu said.
“I might be playing in the NRL, but honestly, nothing has changed for me. I’m still the same man I was when I wasn’t in the side.
I just try to stay grounded. Enjoy the moment for what it is, and try not to think too far ahead.Christian Tuipulotu
“I still live at home with my family with my parents, two brothers, and two sisters, so I still have to cook, clean and wash the dishes too.
“Well, I like to say I can cook (laughs)..but I only cook my signature dish, chicken fettuccine, probably once a year.”
Tuipulotu also admits he gained an invaluable insight into his team-mates when the Sea Eagles spent three months living together on the Sunshine Coast when the NRL premiership shifted to Queensland last year.
“I may not have played a game for Manly when I was up there, but the experience has made me a much better player for sure,’’ Tuipulotu added.
“It was great to learn from the senior boys and to see how they prepare themselves on and off the field.
“Mentally, it helped me too in that it taught me about staying in the grind, even though I was just training.”
Experienced NRL campaigner Kieran Foran has noticed the difference in the man known as 'CT' this season.
“With Christian being around the team on the Sunshine Coast last year, it’s given him a good understanding of what it takes each week to get yourself ready and prepare the best way you can,’’ Foran said.
“Christian has always been an extremely hard worker, but I think learning those lessons up there would have been invaluable for him.
“He has come back here and has worked his backside off. What you are seeing now from him on the field is a good reward for the effort he has put in.”
Full-back Reuben Garrick said he loved the ‘enthusiasm’ Tuipulotu brings to the team.
“Christian is so eager to take every hit he can and do the best job he can for the team,’’ Garrick said.
“A lot of times, when young guys come through, they are too worried about the pretty stuff, but not Christian. He builds his game on the back of his hard running.
“Christian is only going to grow his game and become a really big force out on the wing.”
Manly vice-captain Jake Trbojevic said it was all about being ‘patient’ when it comes to young players learning their trade in the tough world of the NRL.
“Christian works really hard and you can’t help but be impressed,’’ Trbojevic stated.
“We have to remember, he is only 21-years-old. He always knew his time was going to come.
“When players are that age, or even younger, you can’t put them under pressure. You just have to let them do their own thing and develop.”