From the outside Australia’s Adam Cuthbertson looks to have slotted smoothly into Super League, but the Leeds forward says he has struggled to cope with the constant physical grind of the game in England.
The 30-year-old prop made his first appearance on English soil on Boxing Day and since then has missed just two of Leeds’ 28 matches.
However, as he prepares for Saturday’s Challenge Cup final against Hull KR, Cuthbertson says it has not all been plain sailing.
“I’ve been managed really well,” Cuthbertson told Press Association Sport.
“The thing about the competition here is that it’s so long – we’ve been going since Boxing Day. I don’t think you’d do anything like that in the NRL, ever.
“It’s just a real battle every week to get right and get fit to play the next game.
“You can watch Super League from the NRL and people can have their opinions on it, but until you get over here and realise how tough it is week in, week out, then you don’t really get a full perspective on it.”
Despite his own reservations, Cuthbertson has been hailed as one of the best imports in 2015 and is seen as a front-runner for the Man of Steel title after revolutionising the Rhinos’ attacking play with his outrageous offloads.
The sensational form of the former Manly, Cronulla, St George Illawarra and Newcastle player, who qualifies for England through his Warrington-born father, has been noted by national coach Steve McNamara ahead of the end-of-year Test series against New Zealand, but Cuthbertson says there is still much more to come from him.
“I’m my own biggest critic, so I probably see a lot of things I can improve on that other people might not,” he said.
“I still don’t feel like I’m playing at my best in an all-round aspect of the game, but you’re never going to get everything right. I’m just trying to stay as consistent as I can with my footy.”