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The Klemmer affect: Jacob Saifiti has 2020 vision

Up and coming front rowers everywhere would kill for a mentor like David Klemmer.

The New South Wales and Australian prop has done it all in rugby league and is near-unarguably referred to as the best front-rower in the world.

His arrival in Newcastle in 2018 saw the Club’s younger brigade turn to sponges as they soaked up anything they could get off the 19 Test veteran.

It’s what many believe was the turning point in Daniel Saifiti’s career, leading him to join Klemmer in the New South Wales Origin side.

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For Saifiti’s twin brother Jacob, it’s an opportunity he’s only now getting the chance to take up.

“When Klem first got to the Club I was in rehab a fair bit with my ankle, and Daniel was with him every day picking his brain,” Saifiti said.

“I feel like I’m doing that more this year, he’s only been here for three days but it feels like he’s been here for three weeks.

“Glasby’s been here in the meantime, so I’ve been picking his brain and it’s been good.”

Jacob endured a frustrating season in 2019, with injury hampering his campaign before a ball was even kicked, while Daniel’s game went from strength to strength.

It’s a fact not lost on Jacob ahead of the new season.

“I can’t ignore it (Daniel’s success),” he said.

“He’s my brother, but I need to separate myself from that and play my best footy.

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“That starts with having a good pre-season and doing the best I can. I don’t know what’s in store for next year, all I know is I’m preparing myself to put myself in the best position I can to play my best footy next year.”

With his eyes set on a big 2020, Saifiti admits he only has one objective at this stage of the pre-season.

“I’ve only got one goal in mind at the moment, it’s round one and I want to be in the 17,” Saifiti said.

“If that happens, I’ll reassess and if it doesn’t, it’s still going to be a goal to get in the 17.

“I’m not chasing to many things at the moment so that’s my main goal.”