2016 was a breakout season for Sam Stone as he made 21 appearances in the Club's NYC side.
He proved a try-scoring threat as an edge forward as well, getting over the white line on seven occasions.
Having only turned 19 in August, Stone is now almost halfway through his first NRL pre-season.
Little more than a year and a half ago he was playing in the SG Ball competition.
“It’s a bit of an adjustment, but there’s a lot of senior players that help me out and make it a bit easier for me,” Stone told Knights TV.
“I’m finding it a bit more difficult than 20s training, obviously.”
Stone is doing his best impersonation of a sponge in his first NRL pre-season, paying particular attention to other senior players that ply their trade in the back row.
“You learn a lot from a lot of different people, and just training with better players will make me better as a player,” he said.
“People in my position like Sione Mata’utia and Jamie Buhrer have helped me a lot, they’ve shared stuff that you can only learn through experience.”
Stone is easily one of the tallest players in the squad, standing at more than 190cm.
He admits that he still has plenty of weight to put on though, like fellow NYC graduate Nick Meaney.
“I’m tall, but I’m not that big so my biggest challenge is putting on weight and matching other players pound for pound,” the Valentine Devils and Lakes United junior said.
“I think I’m getting there slowly with my work in the gym.”
With the likes of Meaney, Cory Denniss and Brodie Jones also working through their maiden first grade pre-season, Stone says it makes these challenges a little easier to overcome when there are familiar faces by his side.
“There’s a lot of kids that I’ve grown up playing with since I was 15 or 16, so that’s helped me ease into things,” he said.
“It can be a bit daunting when you first come, so that definitely makes it a lot easier.”