Like a good racehorse times their run on the track, Knights winger James McManus says he is fit and ready to fire on the footy field.
It's big news for McManus, who hasn't played since last year’s semi-final against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs due to an ankle injury.
Now on the back of a strong pre-season training schedule, the flying Scotsman will take his place in the Knights' line-up for their final Trial match against the Canberra Raiders at Tamworth's Scully Park on Saturday night.
"It will be good to just get a little bit of confidence out of the game," McManus says.
"I’m not too sure how much time I’m down to play for, but it will be a good chance to blow some cobwebs out and get out there and take a few carries.
"I think throughout the pre-season I’ve been able to manage my recovery really well with my ankle.
"Over the last few weeks I’ve been building up and doing everything that the boys have been doing at training.
"So I’m feeling fit and strong and looking forward to the start of the season.
"It’s always good to start the season off well and that starts in Tamworth on Saturday."
This weekend's trial isn't an official match, but McManus is expecting a serious clash against a Raiders side who will be keen to impress new coach Ricky Stuart.
It's why the Knights are treating the game with all the intensity they would in a regular NRL fixture.
"It’s going to be one of those serious trials for them," he says.
"With a new coach, they’ll all be looking to put their best foot forward to try and earn a starting spot for round one.
"So I guess they are going to be fired up and ready to go.
"It’s going to be a big game, because they’ve got a lot of exciting players and it will be interesting to see how Ricky has blended the team together.
"We’ll certainly be out there trying to do our best."
McManus admits it's been difficult watching on from the sidelines, but he has been heartened by the rise of rookies like winger Jake Mamo.
Mamo has been a standout for the Club this pre-season and will again feature prominently when the Knights take on the Raiders in Tamworth.
"We’ve got plenty of young players and it’s exciting for the future," he enthuses.
"Jake will probably get a little bit of a run against the Raiders.
"I’ve enjoyed watching him train over the pre-season and he seems to be one of those blokes who will keep Aku and myself on our toes."
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