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Pat Vaivai is set to make his NRL debut when the Newcastle Knights host Penrith at Hunter Stadium on Sunday and teammate David Fa'alogo is extremely confident he will impress on the game's top grade stage.  

"It’s huge for Patty and I think it’s really deserved as well," Fa'alogo says about Vaivai, a player who won the Under 20s Coaches Award in his first season at the Knights in 2012.

"He has been playing well in the NSW Cup.

"I played alongside Patty in a few games and he has put in the hard yards just like every other player.

"He deserves his opportunity and he is excited and really looking forward to it, so good on him.

"He’ll add a bit of grunt because he has got a bit of size and we’ve just got to show him the way."

22-year-old Vaivai may be a fresh faced rookie, but Fa'alogo by contrast can be classified as a veteran.

Now in his 12th season in the NRL, the former Rabbitoh and Huddersfield Giant admits he struggles to remember his first grade debut for Souths back in 2003.   

That said, Fa'alogo is more than happy to offer Vaivai a few debut tips.

"It was a long time ago," he grins about his first NRL match, a 30-14 loss against Cronulla at Shark Park.

"I was playing in the centres back then, I just thought I’d let you know (laughs).

"But the whole debut game went quick. It just flew by.

"It was just hard to sit back and think about it, because it was just that exciting.

"But you don’t want to think about it too much and then get to game day and all your energy is gone.

"So the only advice I can give Pat is do what he does best and that’s run,  tackle hard and enjoy it."

You can bet that's exactly what Vaivai will do come kick-off time on Sunday.