Jack Johns has been relishing his chances in the top grade this season.
Signed on a development contract at the start of the year, the 23-year-old has made four appearances so far in 2021 for the nib Newcastle Knights.
Developing into a strong and versatile middle to edge forward, Johns says he feels himself growing with every opportunity.
“The body feels pretty good,” Johns said.
“I’m used to playing big minutes in reserve grade.
“I feel like I’m getting used to the pace which was a big shock at first.
“I’ve been training pretty hard with Balin Cupples and our performance staff to keep improving so I feel like I’m getting more confident each game I play.”
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Having come through the pathways system setup with the Knights, Johns joined the South Sydney Rabbitohs where he made two NRL appearances under Wayne Bennett.
The backrower has also represented Italy at the international level having played at the 2017 World Cup.
After a series of impressive performances in the NSW Cup this season, Johns has become settled and popular figure amongst the Knights dressing room.
He said he has enjoyed the move back to Newcastle.
“I’ve learned a lot of technical stuff especially about defence which has really improved my game this year,” Johns continued.
“I’ve always found that a change of environment, for me, is refreshing and good to build off.
“Every year is different, my first year at Souths was different to my second year at Souths.
“You get used to it as a player.”
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The 23-year-old also discussed the move to the Sunshine Coast and how he plans to help the players around him.
“It’s very different,” Johns said.
“For me, I was living on my own in Newcastle so I’ve actually got a bit more company now.
“A big role for me and a few others is to try lift the spirits of the boys (who don’t have young families here with them.)
Johns has been named as 18th man for the big clash against the Sydney Roosters this Friday night.