Palaa set for US debut

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Sione Palaa has enjoyed his first week in the United States on a North Otago Rugby Union scholarship at Atlanta’s Life University in Georgia.

The Loosehead prop has already started training with his new team in chilly conditions but received a warm welcome from his teammates.

“(It’s) a bit cold starting off with a bit of snow,” he said.

“(The) boys are excited that I’m here and wanting to learn what I’ve got and the skills I’ve got.”

The former St Kevin’s College student said he is embracing the experience and intent on learning as much as possible.

“Pretty much, I’m here to learn from them and show me what rugby is all about here in America,” he said.

“The team I’m playing for are a great bunch of boys and they work hard also to get what they want and that’s why I’m here to learn from them and for them to learn from me.”

The 19-year-old watched his team get off to a winning start with a 132-7 demolition job of South Carolina last weekend and is now looking ahead to his debut in Charlotte, North Carolina on Saturday.

“I didn’t play (against South Carolina) because some other boys trained before me that whole week but I will be playing this week up in Charlotte, so I’m ready to give it a go,” he said.

By JAMES FORD

PHOTO: Palaa trained with the Highlanders before his trip to Atlanta – SUPPLIED