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Knights reveal strongest, fittest and fastest for 2019

They're the results often closely guarded by NRL clubs.

For the first time in the history of the nib Newcastle Knights, the performance staff are lifting the lid on the strongest, fittest and fastest for 2019.

Pre-season is the optimal time for testing and pushing the limits.


The playing group have done that with a gruelling training regime which has unearthed several standout performers emerging on the field and inside the gym.

When it comes to pound for pound weight, Head of Physical Performance Balin Cupples said Sione Mata'utia is the strongest of the forwards, closely followed by Herman Ese'ese.

Shifting from centre to the backrow this season, the former Test winger is at the head of the pack.

For the backs and halves, Connor Watson is the standout.


"Sione Mata'utia for the forwards and then obviously Connor Watson for the backs," Cupples said.

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"A lot stronger relative but both those guys are at the top of their positional groups, both in raw numbers and relative.

"Most of the boys have had multiple increases across all areas."

The half-turned fullback has not only increased his muscle mass but seen dramatic strength increases in the gym which sees him poll at the top of the list in his weights group.

On the field, Watson is challenging for the title of quickest at the club but according to Cupples, new recruit Edrick Lee has both he and Kalyn Ponga covered.

"Fastest would have to be Edrick Lee," Cupples said.

"Obviously a natural runner and needs a little bit more distance to get moving but can move.

"Anything over 35 metres plus."

When it comes to fitness, the skipper leads by example.

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Mitchell Pearce has a motor that doesn't quit.

"Fittest both in any games or footy we do and conditioning, running, testing wise has got to be Mitch Pearce," Cupples said.

"He is obviously phenomenally gifted aerobically and to do it all with the decision making, he's on another level."