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Scoring a try and ending 336 days of heartbreak

It's been a rollercoaster start to his NRL career but Sam Stone is ready to cement himself as a regular first grader.

Stone has been part of the nib Newcastle Knights system since a teen.

When Nathan Brown arrived at the Club, his focus was on blooding a host of youngsters.

A 19-year-old Stone was one of them.

It was the first round of the 2017 season when Stone was named to debut against Warriors in New Zealand.

"The family came over with me and it was a pretty exciting time for myself and my family," Stone said.

"I didn't expect to make my debut but Browny (Nathan Brown) rewarded my hard work."

The Warriors forward pack is well known for their size and aggression.


A challenge that didn't bother the young backrower.

"It wasn't as big as a transition as I thought it was going to be," Stone added.

"They're obviously big and strong but I think the transition period from 20s playing, to doing the pre-season training, I was kind of use to it by then."

Stone went on to play 16 games in 2017, scoring his first career try in his second game.

Heading into that second round clash against the Gold Coast, the Knights hadn't won a game in 336 days.


With 20 minutes remaining in the contest, Stone scored a crucial try and the Knights snapped a 19-game losing streak.

"It was a bit of a crucial time in the game to which was good and the crowd was really behind us on that day.

"It was a really good feeling.

"To get a win was obviously the important thing but the try was just a bit of a bonus."

After a solid rookie season, Stone found himself starting the year in the ISP NSW side following the arrival for several new faces in 2018.

"We had a couple of good recruits come last year and sort of pushed me back to the reserve grade," Stone said.

"I just need to make sure I'm working hard and hopefully I'll find myself in there this year and in the future."

Despite a strong recruitment drive from the Knights over the last 12 months, Stone is hopeful of cracking the NRL squad in 2019.

"I want to get healthy and try and prove myself this post-Christmas period and hopefully play some first grade," Stone added.