Following an unforgettable World Cup experience, Jacob Saifiti returned to Knights HQ on Thursday to commence pre-season training.
While he has been reunited with brother Daniel and teammates from the last few years, there are also plenty of new faces.
He has also noted, the level of intensity at training has increased.
“It was a hard day back with the boys but I can definitely tell with the new players in, the quality has definitely picked up,” Saifiti stated.
“I was trying to keep up with them at the start but I felt like at the end of the session, I slowly got my way back in there.
“My match fitness is alright… but the conditioning part was pretty tough although that is going to come in the next few weeks.
“I was talking to all the new boys, they’re really buying into what we’re striving for and it’s a really good vibe at the Club at the moment.”
Earlier in the week, marquee signing Mitchell Pearce arrived at the Club and Safiti believes he’ll be able to bring a cool head to the team.
“I can tell he’s a really good mentor for the young halves and just footy in general because he’s got a good head on him and I’m definitely going to learn from him,” Saifiti said.
“He will have that calming influence at the back end of the game and will help to grind out matches and add pressure to the other team.”
Meanwhile, Saifiti has described his experience at the World Cup with Fiji as the best eight weeks of his life.
The towering prop played 172 minutes in five games for Fiji and notched up an impressive 90 per cent tackle accuracy and close to 400 metres ran with the ball.
The Bati surprised the rest of the world when they toppled tier-one nation New Zealand in the quarter finals, a memory that he will never forget.
“It was an unreal feeling…” Saifiti smiled.
“The way we dug in that night against New Zealand, was probably the best night of my life.”
The 21-year-old said the moment just before they clinched the win against the Kiwis was an emotional rollercoaster.
“I was on the bench at the end when we won, it was the last two minutes and I was already crying,” Saifiti said.
“I wish I could re-live that minute or five minutes at the end because it was the best thing ever."
While there wasn’t a World Cup trophy to hold up at the end of the tournament, Saifiti maintains he’s proud of their efforts and believes it was their faith and dedication that drove them to outstanding lengths.
“Getting up every morning and singing and praying together, it is a bond that you will never get again,” he added.
“It was something special and I am so glad I got to be a part of it.”
Meanwhile, Saifiti has implored red and blue fans to get on board as a Member in the 2018 season, after the Club reached more than 10,000 Memberships this week.
“Even last year they came in droves… it wasn’t our best year, but the support they have shown us, there’s no better feeling," he concluded.