ONE of the Wire’s new signings was named as the best Super League player in his position last year and is fresh from helping his country to the Rugby League World Cup semi-finals.

However, Ben Murdoch-Masila says rugby league fans have not seen the best of him just yet.

News of the Tongan international second rower’s signing from Salford Red Devils got Wire fans’ pulses racing.

Warrington had to part with £175,000 to secure his signature after his performances in 2017 saw him named in the Super League Dream Team.

Despite his recent success, the 26-year-old is adamant he is still picking up new things all the time in order to improve.

“I try not to worry about whether I’m in my prime or not,” he said.

“I just try to keep learning and building on the past year, so that’s what I want to do here.

“I’m still learning. I pick up new things every year, every week even.

“Everyone can get better if they put the work in, so I don’t think people have seen the best of me yet.”

Standing at 6ft 1in and weighing in at just under 18st, Murdoch-Masila cuts an imposing figure.

He has become known for his aggression and explosive ball-carrying and tackling on the field and had gained a fearsome reputation after laying waste to edge defences up and down Super League.

Murdoch-Masila says his best work is done out wide, but maintains he is happy to play a role tighter to the ruck should Wire head coach Steve Price require it.

His exploits in the past 12 months may mean that more attention is paid to him in defence, but he says he can cope with that if it frees up one of Wolves’ other ‘big names’.

“I do love the edges but at the moment I’m willing to put my hand up wherever the team and coach needs me,” he said.

“With me being on an edge, I’d get attention pretty much every week from teams trying to find ways of stopping me.

“That doesn’t really change whether I’m playing well or not, it’s just something you have to try to rise above.

“We’ve got big name players across the park, so if the opposition chooses to put more focus on me, we can hurt them in different areas.

“I just want to do my best for the team each week and see where it takes me.”

Before heading to England, Murdoch-Masila played in Australia’s NRL competition for Wests Tigers and Penrith Panthers.

He joined Salford Red Devils ahead of the 2016 season, but he has since made his name much further afield.

At the Rugby League World Cup last year, he caught the eye with his performances off the bench for Tonga in their memorable run to the semi-finals, where they eventually lost to England in a thrilling encounter in Auckland.

The deal to bring Murdoch-Masila to the Wire had already been signed before the tournament began, but rumours were soon abound as to whether he would take up the deal.

His manager, Mario Tarak, fanned the flames by being quoted in the Australian media as saying his client could be tempted by an ‘astronomical’ offer to return to the NRL, with Gold Coast Titans reported to be interested.

Those murmurings peaked when, having been initially expected to join up with his teammates before Christmas, Murdoch-Masila remained Down Under at the turn of the year.

However, he eventually arrived on January 9 to take his part in preparations for the new season.

Murdoch-Masila says chats with ex-Wire players Garreth Carvell and Gareth O’Brien convinced him Warrington was the club to join.

“It would have been more difficult for me if I was coming straight from Australia, but coming from just over the ditch in Salford makes it much easier,” he said.

“I wouldn’t say I’m quite used to English conditions yet, even after a couple of years, but I’m getting there.

“I had a chat with my family first as I needed to work out what was best for them, but I’d heard nothing but good things about the place.

“There were quite a few past Warrington players at Salford, like Gaz Carvell and Gareth O’Brien. They sold the club to me really well as well.

“The boys have been really welcoming and the coaches know how to deliver things in training.

“I’m not really about trophies, but it would be nice to win one here. The main motivation for me was that it was a new challenge for my career.

“It is an exciting one and I can’t wait to get going properly.”