Player number: 268
Positions played: Prop
Average metres: 104.6
Average tackles: 24.7
Daniel Saifiti may have raised some eyebrows when he was chosen to make his debut in Round 1, but he proved his selection was the right call.
The year before he had a strong season in the Under 20s, and made his international debut for Fiji.
While playing NRL in 2016 would have been a goal, Daniel went on to have an outstanding season that culminated in winning the hotly contested Rookie of the Year Award.
Daniel played 32 minutes from the bench in his NRL debut against the Gold Coast Titans, collecting a pass from Trent Hodkinson in the 68th minute to dive over the line untouched.
He also made 66 metres from eight runs and excelled in defence with 20 tackles and 95 per cent accuracy.
Both of the Saifiti twins found their feet in first grade as the season progressed, and Daniel’s standout moment was undoubtedly the Round 11 match against the Wests Tigers, where he put in a complete performance that any representative prop would have been proud of.
Over 47 minutes the Tigers couldn’t hold him down, as he made 237 metres from 19 hit-ups.
It was a springboard that gave Daniel the momentum to finish off the season strongly, and provided a taster of what Knights fans can expect in years to come.
What makes him special?
193cm tall and weighing in at 117kg, Daniel also has the engine to get through plenty of work in the middle.
He loves an offload too, with 15 over the season and several leading to tries.
At 20 years of age, the sky is the limit for Daniel.
We continue to look back over the debut seasons of all of our 2016 rookies. On Friday is player #269 Jacob Saifiti.