The 2017 pre-season has been Brendan Elliot’s first with the nib Newcastle Knights, after signing with the Club midway through last year.

Aiming for either a wing or centre position in Round 1, Elliot has put on approximately five kilograms since this time last year and has focused on improving his runs early in the set.

“I’ve been trying to put on weight and really work on my play one and twos,” he told Knights TV.

“I just want to win the play-the-ball so that the boys can get a good roll on after that.

“So I’ve been working hard in the gym and on my diet, things like that.”

Having not played a part in the last pre-season, Elliot admits he wasn’t sure what was coming in the 2017 version.

“Straight from day dot, as soon as we went through the door it was about fitness, and that hasn’t stopped yet,” he explained.

An influx of new signings has only turned up the intensity at training as well, as competition for places in Round 1 heats up.

“It’s brought a lot of competition to the team for positions and there’s a lot more experience within the side.

“I’d love to play either wing or centre, but during the pre-season I’m just working my hardest to get a starting spot.”

The 2017 Auckland Nines are less than two weeks away now as well, and always provide a good opportunity for the outside backs.

“Fingers crossed I get to go over, because I love that style of football and I think it’s a really great part of the game,” Elliot said.

“I just love the style of footy and the speed and pace.

“There’s so much open space with only nine people, and it’s just a great tournament to be involved in.”