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The future: Meet Starford To’a

If his name is anything to go by, his future looks bright.

Starford To'a is one of three Newcastle young guns who have extended their contract until the end of 2021.

A fullback who also plays centre, To'a is a product of Auckland.

While he was scouted by the Knights two years ago, the 2018 season was his first year playing for the Club having moved to Australia 11 months ago.

"The recruitment manager for the Knights saw me at the New Zealand national tournament in Rotorua," To'a explained.

"It was about 2016 when I got scouted at the age of 16.

"When I first signed, I told the Club I wasn't really keen on moving over so (Troy Pezet) took the risk of signing me.


"After coming over here for a few games, I got keen on moving over.

"Since I've been here I've enjoyed it. It's probably one of the best decisions of my life."

While most Knights supporters are yet to see To'a in action, there's plenty to like about him.

Junior representative re-signs

He has speed and a step which can turn men inside out.

"Alex McKinnon was watching Star in a St Pauls Auckland First 13 game at 16 and was impressed with his ability to beat defenders, so he rang his agent and organised a meeting," Knights Player List Manager Troy Pezet said.


"Since his arrival in November he has developed at a rapid rate which has seen him play SG Ball, Jersey Flegg, NSW Cup and Australian schoolboys in nine months.

"He credits his home stay environment with the Petersen family and Matt Morriss our Welfare Manager, he is completing his HSC, working part time, and got his licence and bought a car."

When To'a was asked to describe what Knights fans can expect to see from him, he said; "I love winning.

The Jersey Flegg player with big aspirations.

"We did a fair bit of that this year. I love running the ball, especially with heaps of space. I love trying to beat my man. I always try to win my tackles against my centre.

"Playing centre is also helping me with individual skills which I didn't know when I was playing fullback."

The 18-year-old is also a junior representative.


In 2017 he represented New Zealand and this year he's donned the green and gold for a tour of England with the Schoolboys side.

"I've made Australian Schoolboys which is a huge honour," he said.

"It was a big achievement playing schoolboys for New Zealand last year.

"The boys really praise it. It's good to get acknowledgement for achievements like that."