While Josh King’s first grade debut against the Brisbane Broncos on Saturday could be described as a baptism of fire, the newest NRL Newcastle Knight says it’s a memory he will treasure forever.
It was a long held dream come true for the Singleton Greyhounds junior who served his apprenticeship in the the U20s Knights before featuring in the Club’s reserve grade side in the back end of 2015 season.
“I’m stoked to be here even though we didn’t get the result at the end of the day. It’s probably one I will remember for a long time,” he told injured teammate Robbie Rochow in the sheds following the game at Suncorp Stadium.
“I feel privileged to be here.”
King, who was named as an interchange forward, entered the game in the second half and played 33 minutes of the match that eventuated in a loss on Saturday evening.
“It was tough and a lot quicker than what I’m used to. The physicality was a little bit more, but I tried my best and hopefully I stuck in there aright for the team,” he said.
Lining up with and against the likes of Origin players was a mind-blowing experience for the 21-year-old.
“It was surreal. You have grown up watching those kind of guys and being out there today and being up against them was just a privilege.
“I’m really happy although we didn’t get the result.”
Coach Nathan Brown commended the young Knight for handling a challenging induction into the NRL well.
"I thought Josh King was terrific and did really well in his debut," he said in the post match press conference.
King looks to build on the life changing experience when he pulls on the red and blue again this weekend, regardless of what grade he is named in.
“I would like to be in the team again next week, but either way, if I’m playing this or NSW Cup, I will go out and try to give it my all for the team,” he said.
“I would like to be there in front of the home crowd so we’ll see what happens.”
The Newcastle Knights play the Manly Sea Eagles at Hunter Stadium for the first time since 2012 on ANZAC Day. Click here to purchase tickets now.