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Veterans challenged as youngsters push for start

Typically, in a first-grade side, the older players are the ones leading the way for the younger players.

This season has been an anomaly for the nib Newcastle Knights with the youngsters pushing the veterans like Aidan Guerra and Mitch Barnett to their limits.

Players such as 20-year-old Beau Fermor and Brodie Jones are excelling in the physical testing.

"Physically there is a guy Beau Fermor," Guerra said.

"He is going really well for someone who it's his first pre-season.

"He looks like he has the work ethic and the engine to be able to play first-grade but we will wait until we get to the games and hopefully he can put it out on the field as well."

Fellow edge, Mitch Barnett echoed Guerra's thoughts with the 2017 Danny Buderus medal winner pointing to the competition for spots across the board.

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While there's no shortage for depth in the backrow, the Club is also blessed with some exciting young halves.

"Beau Fermor, Brodie Jones, there are a couple of good halves there and Phoenix (Crossland) and Tex (Hoy) they are all going really well," Barnett said.

"It is really healthy, the Club you know I the best situation it's been in in terms of depth with experience and players with games under their belt and not only that they've got the young fellas coming through."

Guerra added; "Mason Lino has really added to the depth in our halves, we have a young fellow as well Phoenix (Crossland) who has been training the house down as half as well, so I think our half depth is good, we are pretty healthy there.

"When it comes to the forwards, you sort of don't know until you get to the game, there are guys that are coming at the ripe old age of 20 they are coming and physically braining? Every physical test and things like that."

The hunger and training performances of the rookies have ensured the seasoned veterans are looking over their shoulders.

That's a victory for Nathan Brown and his coaching staff with the players pushing themselves to their limits in a bid to not be outdone.

"Makes you train harder, I don't like getting beaten at anything," Guerra said.

"I am sure a lot of the older boys are the same, we try and show that we aren't slowing down too much and try and get our fitness up and win a few of those fitness tests as well."