IT IS a long way from Connecticut to Noosa, but Peter Roses is not here for a holiday.
The 27-year-old, who played a handful of games for the Connecticut Wildcats against clubs such as the New York Knights and New Jersey Bulls in the American National Rugby League last year, would like to line up for the Noosa Pirates this season.
He originally had a trial arranged with Q Cup club Norths Devils earlier this year, but was unable to make it because of health issues with his daughter.
Now he is determined to make the most of his chance with the Pirates.
"I'm here to win games and help my teammates," Roses said.
"I'm also hoping to get noticed and hopefully be picked up by a higher grade club.
"This is a huge opportunity for me on the mountain I'm trying to climb."
Roses, who played rugby union before switching to league two years ago, is 180cm tall and weighs 100kg. He plays in the second row or at inside centre.
He likened the game to American football, but said he particularly enjoyed the defensive tackling elements of rugby league.
Roses had his first training run with Noosa last night, joining fellow US citizen Joshua Aquinde, who arrived on the Coast last week.
Aquinde, from the Hawaiian island of Maui, has been playing rugby union at the California Lutheran University.
The 22-year-old is yet to play his first game of rugby league, but the budding hooker hopes the experience on the Coast will put him in the picture for a place on the USA Tomahawks team at next year's rugby league world cup.
The US has qualified for the tournament by beating Jamaica in a recent regional playoff, and has already been drawn with Wales and the Cook Islands.
Pirates coach Dane Campbell said there was no reason players from North America could not make it in the local league competition.
"Sports people in the US and Canada grow up exposed to intense training programs," he said.
"You also can't doubt their work ethic. There's no reason why players from that part of the world can't be successful in our competition.
"The biggest challenge will be the fitness aspect of constantly getting up and back the 10m."
Campbell also said he believed the NRL could become the equivalent of the English Premier League and attract players from all over the world, rather than just England, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.
"This is a huge opportunity for me on the mountain I'm trying to climb"