Ah Mau ready to step up for Dragons

RUGBY LEAGUE

Dragons second-rower Leeson Ah Mau is determined to use his time at the World Cup as a springboard to a regular starting position this year.

His powerhouse display on the right edge was one of few positives to come out of the Dragons 38-20 Charity Shield loss and earned strong endorsements from coach Steve Price and teammate Trent Merrin.

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"Leeson Ah Mau had a blinder," Merrin said.

"There's a lot more to see of him this year, he's definitely stepped up.

"He went on tour [World Cup] this year and he found a lot of confidence out of that and we're lucky for him to bring it back here.

"There's a bright future for him in the game."

The 24-year-old played down his performance and said he has a lot to do to cement a starting role.

"There's still a lot of things I've got to work on," Ah Mau said.

"I was just trying to play my role in the team and do what's best for the team.

"It was good to see where we're at before the season starts.

"It was a good measure of where we're at as a team and what we need to work on.

"I think we've just got to focus on ourselves now and to try and fix up our defence which we've been working on since the [Charity Shield] game."

Since his debut for the New Zealand Warriors in 2009, Ah Mau spent two seasons at the Cowboys - and was the club's 2010 rookie of the year - used sporadically from the interchange bench.

He's played a similar role for the Dragons since he joined in 2012, filling in up front or in the back row.

Now armed with a two-year contract extension and four international caps for Samoa, he feels ready to take the next step by cementing a starting place on the Dragons right edge.

"I'm pretty comfortable there at the moment," Ah Mau said.

"Hopefully I can continue to build a few combinations with Sammy [Williams] and Dylan [Farrell] on that edge.

"I've been here [at the Dragons] for 2½ years and I've really enjoyed my time. I'm just working hard at training, trying to do all the little things and do what's best for the team," he said.

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