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Watson finding his feet in new positions

It’s been the question on every nib Newcastle Knights fan’s lips – what position will Connor Watson play this season?

While most players in the squad are competing hard to knuckle down a position of their own, the young utility from Avoca is eager to use his extensive versatility to his advantage.

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It’s still unknown exactly where coach Adam O’Brien will decide to place the former Rooster, however Watson did confirm the two positions he had been training in and it may not be where you think.

“I’ve been working mostly at 9 and 13,” Watson said.

“I’m not exactly sure where or when I’ll be playing there but we’ll see what happens.”

'It's the toughest pre-season I've ever done'

Although he hasn’t spent all too much time in the lock position, except for a few short stints off the bench when playing at the Roosters, Watson confessed he didn’t feel uncomfortable there and enjoyed how flexible he now is inter-changing between roles.

“Yeah I’ll be taking kick-off carries…” he joked.

“No, it’ll be a similar role to how Victor Radley and Cam Murray play. Ball playing and stuff like that.

“I guess I’m just a footballer. It’s probably hard to put a position on me.

“It’s a blessing. I used to think it was a curse, but it’s good. I can help the team in all sorts of positions.”

Returning to training for first time this week since Christmas, the coaching staff haven’t been taking it easy on the team.

Watson admitted the training has been challenging due to a rise in intensity, but a challenge that he and his teammates are enjoying thoroughly.

“We’re getting through sessions quicker than I’ve ever done before, I think that’s the biggest thing,” he said.

“There’s less rest time, more intensity and more work so it’s been a bit of a challenge adjusting to that to start with.

“Most of the boys have been saying it’s the toughest pre-season.”

Captain Mitch Pearce commented during the week that he believed O’Brien was on the right course for turning the team’s habits around and the same sentiment was echoed by Watson.

With so many starting spots on the line, the side has been pushing one another and he thinks the benefits will be evident.

“We know we're capable of doing good things this year, it’s just about finding that consistency which we lacked last year,” he said.

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“I think that’s why it’s been so intense because they want to put us in those moments where we slipped up last year and making decisions under fatigue.

“Everyone wants to be in that 17 so everyone is vying for spots.

“It’s seen it [training] go to a new level.”