Adam Korave is a turnip picker turned dream chaser.
The PNG Hunters forward missed their 2017 grand final fairytale after deciding to spend a season with local Ipswich club Fassifern Bombers.
Months before, Korave had been dropped from the Hunters leadership group by coach Michael Marum for unspecified off-field issues.
Now that he has been welcomed back from a year’s sabbatical, the 28-year-old says it is time to create his own piece of history.
“Missing out on the grand final and the premiership last year…that’s something I want to experience myself,” he said on the eve of tackling the Norths Devils.
“To see them (his former Hunters teammates) win the title, I thought ‘I need to create my own destiny’.
“I’m very humbled Michael and the team have welcomed me back and I feel I am definitely more mature.
“The coach and management want an experienced hand to take the lead for the younger guys and I want to help fill that role.”
Korave revealed that he had spent the majority of 2017 working under the Queensland sun on a farm outside of Ipswich, picking turnips, beetroots and carrots.
A friend hooked him up with the opportunity to work and play in Australia for a year, which led to him featuring in a Fassifern team alongside former New Zealand and Samoan Test player David Fa’alogo.
Korave himself has already tasted Test football, representing PNG twice in games against Fiji.
His last Test appearance in 2016 was a memorable 24-22 win against the odds.
To experience that sense of elation and deliver his nation continued success is what keeps him ploughing his 93kg frame into much bigger forwards on a weekly basis.
“That’s the expectation of everyone in PNG,” he said matter-of-factly.
“The country is expecting us to play hard to defend the Intrust Super Cup.
“It comes down to each of us as individuals to step up.
“We haven’t started the season really well, but we are a very different team (personnel-wise) to last year and I believe we can bring it together.”
Currently in eighth spot, the Hunters play third-placed Norths at Bishop Park at 5.30pm on Saturday.