Christchurch teenager Cruz Topai-Aveai is on the verge of realising his NRL dream.
The 18-year-old has been back in Canterbury nursing an ankle injury after turning out for the Rabbitohs' under-20 side.
While injured the Cronulla Sharks came calling, offering him a lucrative three-year deal with the first grade team.
"Yeah it was massive surprise you know, coming over from rugby and not having much experience, and only getting through six games of league to have that first grade deal offered to me was a dream," said Topai-Avea.
With a handful of Sharks first grade players set to finish up, the 110kg back rower brings more than just his huge frame.
"Probably my size, I've got a bit more mobile with size too and probably a bit of that. Agility wise I'm a bit light on my feet."
Topai-Aveai will jet off to Sydney tomorrow and later in the year brother Jordan will join him as part of a pre-season deal.