Pre-season training officially kicks off for the Newcastle Knights on Monday, but a number of players stepping up to NRL training returned this week in preparation.
Under 20s captain Danny Levi and teammate Luke Yates will train with NRL during the pre-season, while Lachlan Fitzgibbon, Jaelen Feeney, James Taylor and Tuiala Togiatasi make the transition from NYC into the senior group.
The training schedule will vary for the six transitioning players throughout the pre-season.
The group were also joined by new recruit Carlos Tuimavave and experienced winger James McManus, who has returned to training following a foot injury.
“It has been a light week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday for our six new boys out of Under 20s, plus Carlos… to help him get familiar,” coach Rick Stone after Friday’s session.
“It is to get their bodies attune before they start next week with the senior group.
“Their energy and enthusiasm has been great, it is like a new job or starting high school for them, a lot of anticipation for these boys.
“When they start mixing with the senior players next week they will know they are in the full time system.
“We have had the luxury of James McManus this week, who has ben helping the boys these last few days.”
Another new recruit Tariq Sims will join the team when pre-season officially commences on Monday, however a number of players will be missing.
“We will have a staggered start, we still have four playing in the Four Nations, then players in reserve grade that will get extra time,” Stone added.
“We expect everyone will be back by the first week of December.”
Meanwhile, a number changes to the Football Department have been confirmed. Along with the return of Craig Sandercock and the appointment of Danny Buderus to the coaching staff, Colin Sanctuary has been promoted to Performance Director while Anthony Ingram returns as Head Physiotherapist.