Milestone Mann grateful NRL journey came full circle

This weekend Kurt Mann will play his 100th game in first grade.

It’s fitting he pulls up the milestone in the red and blue.

Mann’s professional career started with the Knights where he played under 20’s before moving to Melbourne.

While he got his start in first grade at the Storm, the three years he spent with St George Illawarra saw him clock up 60 games.

Returning to the Knights this year, Saturday’s game against the Warriors will see a grateful Mann reach his ton in the top grade.

“I’m very honoured and grateful to be in this position,” Mann said.

“Coming full circle from playing in under 20’s in this position, to play 100 games is massive by any standard and I’m really happy to get to do it here, where I started.”

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When asked if he ever thought he wouldn’t make it to 100 games, Mann admits he had doubts.

His versatility could be seen as a blessing and a curse.

Last weekend, his adaptability saw him move from the halves and into fullback where he did a standout job covering for an injured Kalyn Ponga against Brisbane.

Having filled almost every role but front-row over his six seasons in the NRL, Mann feared being unable to secure a regular position would ultimately cost him.

“At stages, probably not. I’ve been moved around a fair bit and played a few different positions,” Mann said when asked if he thought he'd reach this milestone.

“I’m just really happy to be here and do it. This is my junior club.”

Regarding his versatility and covering for Ponga this weekend, who is sidelined with a calf injury, Mann said; “It’s something that hasn’t been sprung on me.

“I’m pretty confident that I’ll be able to do that, and I’ll have time to prepare this week.”

Exuding a calm confidence going into his 100th game this weekend, the No.1 said he's ‘comfortable’ with where he and the team are at.

“We're still taking it game by game," he said.

"We’ve still got a long way to go. I’m just going to work my hardest."