Averillo arrives to give Dolphins strike, speed in 2024

Joel Gould |

Dolphins key signing Jake Averillo has completed his first day of pre-season training and declared he would bring the pace and strike to the centres that the team needs in 2024.

The 23-year-old joined from Canterbury for 2024, along with Brisbane centre Herbie Farnworth, to give the Dolphins the attacking weaponry they lacked last season in the NRL.

Farnworth is a left centre and Averillo likes to play on the right, where he is keen to forge a threatening partnership with form winger and New Zealand international Jamayne Isaako.

“I think the boys did really well last season and it was their style of expansive play that brought me to the club,” Averillo said.

“Me coming to the club, along with Herbie, will probably bring more pace that they need and a bit more strike.

“My preferred position is (right centre) and I think I went alright there last season. I made a home for myself on the right side and I’d love to play there.

“I also think I will work really well together with (Isaako). He is a really good finisher and one of my strengths is to be able to get my winger away with quick hands.”

When Averillo limped off for the Bulldogs in the final-round clash with Gold Coast there were concerns he had done a serious knee injury.

Thankfully it turned out to be a posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) and not the dreaded anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), which he has fully recovered from.

Sean O'Sullivan and Jake Averillo.
Dolphins recruit Jake Averillo (r) has begun training after suffering a knee injury with Canterbury.

He launched into his first day of pre-season with other Dolphins top-squad players including Tom Gilbert, Kodi Nikorima, Sean O’Sullivan, Jarrod Wallace and Kenny Bromwich.

Averillo completed the 1.2km time trial in four minutes 17 seconds, a strong result after his injury.

“When it first happened it was a bit scary. I was thinking about this coming year straight away but luckily it wasn’t as bad as expected,” he said.

“I have been running for a few weeks now so it has come good.”

Averillo played 78 games for Canterbury. He didn’t think he would ever leave Sydney but the Dolphins reached out to his management at the right time and he signed a three-year deal.

“I probably needed a change personally and to get my game to the next level so it has worked out really well,” he said.

“I have only met (coach) Wayne (Bennett) the once in a meeting. He has that aura about him and I am looking forward to working under him. That is another main reason why I came here.

“I want to experience new things and I am loving it so far up here.”