Loiero to test mettle with Melbourne Storm at NRL Nines
Sunshine Coast teenager Trent Loiero says he's soaking up all he can from Melbourne Storm and is eager for his game to take the next step against older, hardened charges.
The 18-year-old, who is a former Kawana Dolphin junior, linked with the NRL heavyweights in November last year and has savoured his time learning from elite company since.
While he's only been down there less than three months, the teenager has already earned the chance to test his skills against some of the best as part of the NRL Nines on a train and trial contract. He's set to be a development player with the club next year.
He was named as part of an 18-man Storm squad to contest the shortened format across today and tomorrow in Perth.
Loiero was savouring the opportunity.
"To be honest I wasn't expecting it but getting to go over with all the boys is going to be an awesome experience that I won't forget," he said.
"It's good for me being a younger fella getting to go over with experienced players like (Cameron) Munster and Sandor Earl and all that.
"Even just getting to play with some of my roommates like Nicho (Hynes), Chris Lewis and Darren Schonig so I'm excited."
Following the Nines, the former Sunshine Coast Falcons Colts talent was eager to continue testing himself against experienced heads in the Intrust Super Cup.
"I debuted last year for Intrust Cup so my goal is to play a bit more and I'd like to play as many Cup games as I can and progress on and play against men," he said.
"I've played two years in under-20s now so I just feel like that's the next progression."
While shifting south to Melbourne away from family and friends as a teenager had been an adjustment, Loiero said he'd settled in and was finding his feet.
"It's good and I'm loving every day," he said. "Every day is an experience and I'm learning off the old boys and just trying to get better.
"I look up to them all to be honest but I probably say I look up to Felise Kaufusi the most."