New nib Newcastle Knights forward Josh Starling has been named to make his debut for the red and blues against the New Zealand Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium this weekend.
Starling, who brings experience and aggression in the middle, is heading into his sixth year of NRL football and believes he can be a good influence on the younger players in the squad.
“There is a few young guys but that’s also what’s exciting about it, they’re really raw,” he told Knights TV.
“It’s a chance to be a bit of an older head.
“We’ve trained with each other throughout the whole pre-season so everyone knows everyone’s game pretty well.”
Most notably, he is looking forward to playing up front with the young Saifiti twins.
“Those two young boys are amazing talent; they’re going to have big futures in this Club and the NRL,” Starling added.
With the Round 1 team including two local juniors on debut, the 26-year-old said the competition for spots puts the Club in a good position.
“We have no doubt that we’re going to turn this year around, the way we’ve trained all pre-season has been tough but everyone’s been ripping in and not holding back,” Starling said.
The Knights travel across the ditch on Friday for their season opener against the Warriors on Sunday.
“It’s going to be tough, it’s a massive team, they start every season well so it’s going to be a massive test,” Starling said.
“They have big wingers, big front rowers and even big halves, but I’ll really look forward to the challenge.”