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Newcastle Knights celebrate at the Season  Awards on the 8th of September 2016 at Wests, New Lambton NSW Australia. © NRL Photos / Photographer: Paul Barkley

Playing 20 games in his maiden NRL season, it was no surprise that Daniel Saifiti was chosen for the Rookie of the Year Award in 2016.

"It means a lot," the towering forward said at the Club's Awards Evening.

"I didn't think I'd get to debut this year, but to walk away with this award is something very special to me."

Not only did Saifiti debut, but he proved to be one of the team's better performers week after week as he averaged more than 100 metres and 25 tackles per game.

"It was pretty intimidating at first, playing with guys like Jeremy Smith," Saifiti explained.

"I think halfway through the year I found my rhythm, and right now I feel like I'm a genuine first grader."

The future looks promising for the Entrance Tigers junior, and he is already looking ahead to the 2017 pre-season.

"I'm definitely going to give it a crack in this pre-season, and I'll be looking to have a big 2017 for sure."