Having established himself in the State of Origin arena last season, Daniel Saifiti believes he's ready to assume more responsibility for Newcastle.
The 24-year-old averaged 141 metres and 26 tackles in NSW's defeat to Queensland in November - his second series for the Blues - and the prop took belief from his performances despite the team result.
And with Knights general manager of football Danny Buderus confirming on Monday that the side's leadership model is under review, Saifiti is hoping to become a mentor for rising forwards.
"I want to take more of a leadership role this year. I've played at Origin level now and if I play round one that's my 100th [NRL] game, so I've played a few games now," Saifiti said.
"Even though I'm young for my position, that 'young' tag is gone. I feel like I can help steer some of these young boys on and off the field."
The front-rower is adamant Newcastle can improve upon their qualifying final defeat to South Sydney, especially with the recruitment of Test second-rower Tyson Frizell.
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"[We can] definitely go better than last year. We've got the squad to do it, we've added Tyson now and Brails [hooker Jayden Brailey] is back from injury and he adds something too," Saifiti said.
"We're not putting the weight of the world on us, but we know where we can go."
Saifiti had nothing but praise for his NSW teammate Frizell, who fronted the media for the first time as a Knight on Monday.
"He's obviously a real good player, but he's an even better person," Saifiti said.
"He's getting along with the boys real well and he's easy to get along with, so he's doing just fine. He's currently playing Origin and Australia too, so he's going to bring a lot of experience, aggression and a lot of leg-speed too.
"He's going to teach the young back-rowers a lot and make them better players."
Frizell said he was still settling into the area, having only moved on Saturday, but the former Dragons star's excitement was palpable.
"I'm looking forward to the journey ahead ... It's a new start. I kind of feel like a little kid starting again at school," he said.
"Where I was in the stage of my career, [a change] was something I was looking forward to doing. I thought the time was right now and I've been able to do it. Hopefully it all works out in the end."