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'He’s a great person and a great leader to learn off'

There's been no shortage of interest in our boys this week.

The nib Newcastle Knights attract plenty of media attention and we've pulled together the best of it in case you missed any of the news.

Here's what our boys got up to this week:


Not many Rugby League players can say they have played beside their childhood heroes.

For 18-year-old Phoenix Crossland, it may become reality.

After an impressive 2018, Crossland was rewarded with a development players contract and has been training fulltime with the NRL squad over the pre-season.

Eight-weeks in and he's found himself a mentor in Mitchell Pearce.

'They certainly have the experience to help me develop'

Having idolised Pearce from a young age, the two have formed quite the relationship.

"He's been a real idol of mine so it's been really weird to think he is one of my good mates now and I get to hang out with him and learn from him every day," Crossland told the Newcastle Herald.

"It took a while to get used to waking up each morning and feeling, wow, I can't believe I'm training with some of the players I've looked up to since I started playing.

"But now they are just ordinary people trying to help me out."

In December, Crossland missed out on the Australian Schoolboys tour of England.

Instead, Crossland moved under Pearce's wing for the pre-season and is now reaping the benefits.

"It's been awesome. Unbelievable. I've just spent the best eight weeks at training I've ever had. I've learned more in eight weeks than the 10 years I've played footy," he said.

"He knows I'm a good kid and for me, he is a great person and a great leader to learn off. He's a legend."