Jesse Sene-Lefao’s Featherstone career could get underway properly today if he makes his competitive debut for the Rovers against York City Knights on Premier Sports this evening.
One of a number of exciting signings made by Brian McDermott as he looks to guide Featherstone to Super League, Sene-Lefao is expected to have a big impact on the promotion race having signed from rivals Castleford going into 2022.
When speaking to Serious About Rugby League at Featherstone’s Press Day last week, the powerful second-rower revealed that he himself was expecting big things this season: “Expecting a big year on and off the field for the club, I really want to add something to the club. I’m not here to make up the numbers, I’m definitely here to make an impact, I’m really keen.”
Today he could very well line up alongside friend and former Castleford teammate Junior Moors in the back-row. A devastating partnership on the field if their display in the Leeds friendly two weeks ago is anything to go by, the pair make a good partnership off the field as well with Sene-Lefao revealing just how important Moors was when he initially moved to England in 2017: “Junior Moors has been a big part of why my family’s happy here, we’re pretty close. His wife looked after mine and our kids know each other. He’s been here one more year than me and when I got to Cas he was probably the first person that I spoke to and influenced me to come over.
“He really wants to make an impact this year and give back to the club because the club has really helped him out. He’s looking to have a big year as well and I think that goes right through the team everyone wants to have an impact this year and everyone wants to be better each game.”
Of course, Sene-Lefao first came to England to play for Featherstone’s local rivals Castleford and played for the Tigers in both the Grand Final and Challenge Cup Final. However, his time at the Tigers came to an end last year. Sene-Lefao is now looking forward to what he can achieve at Featherstone but he noted that there are no hard feelings about leaving Cas: “There’s no bad blood there, I left on good terms. Cas helped me do the things I want to achieve in the game and I had some good years there.
“But now I’m all for Fev, Featherstone is where I’m at and where I want to have the most impact.”
He did joke about some of his former teammates disliking his new home: “They go ‘out of all teams, why Fev?’ but in today’s game you do what you need to do for your family and Fev has been supportive in that matter and I’m really grateful to have this opportunity.”
He also spoke about what it’s like working under Super League’s most successful coach Brian McDermott. Oddly, McDermott masterminded Sene-Lefao’s Grand Final defeat with Castleford in 2017 but now the two are working together to get Featherstone promoted: “He’s very open minded and very different to all the coaches I’ve had in the past. He’s very open minded and I love his philosophies.”
The pair kick off Featherstone’s promotion push today as the Rovers travel to York in their opening game of 2022.