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Connor Watson's road to 100 NRL Games

From his utility qualities and tenacity on the field to his incredible and awe-inspiring charity work off the field.

Connor Watson has quickly established himself as a fan-favourite and consistent figure in the nib Newcastle Knights line-up.

Born in Dubbo and having grown up on the Central Coast, Connor grew up idolising the red and blue of the Knights.

Having started his career at the Sydney Roosters, the utility has entered his fourth season with the Knights and some would say enjoying career best form.

The 25-year-old will run out for his 100th appearance in the top grade this Sunday against the Cronulla Sharks.

Here is a look back at Connor Watson's road to 100 NRL games:

Connor cracks 100 NRL games


- Having previously played in the Sydney Roosters National Youth Competition (NYC) team in 2015 and 16 and apart of a successful SG Ball team, Watson would make his NRL debut for the Tricolours in 2016.

- The then 19-year-old fulfilled a lifelong dream featuring as number 21 in the Roosters Round 7 clash with the Penrith Panthers.

- Connor played 20 minutes off the bench as the Roosters went down 20-16 in a tight contest at Allianz Stadium.

- Watson would play in his first ANZAC Day game against the St George Illawarra Dragons a week later.

- He scored his first try in the NRL in Round 13 against the Wests Tigers.

- Watson played another 15 games for the Roosters that year in an impressive rookie season, although the side would have a disappointing end finishing in 15th.

- The versatile player was rewarded with a contract extension until the end of the 2018 season.


- 2017 proved to be Watson's breakout year in the top grade kickstarting with a memorable pre-season.

- Connor was apart of the Roosters team which took out the Auckland Nines with the then 20-year-old named player of the tournament.

- Watson was now a prominent figure in the Roosters NRL line-up as the side roared back to the top of the ladder.

- Midway through the season, he was selected for Country Origin off the interchange against City.

- Country lost 20-10 in Mudgee, however many took note of Watson's first appearance in representative colours.

- The utility played 22 games for the Roosters in 2017 as the side finished second on the ladder. Watson scored four tries and had a 67 per cent win rate in his final season at the Chooks.

- In July of 2017, Watson would sign a three-year contract with his beloved Newcastle Knights after seeking a release from the final year of his Roosters deal.

- His final game for the Roosters was a preliminary final loss to the North Queensland Cowboys in which he scored a try.


- In new colours and new surrounds, Watson moved straight into the Newcastle Knights line-up and quickly became one of the fan favourites.

- Watson would make his debut in the memorable Round 1 win over the Manly Sea Eagles in 2018.

- Alongside great mates Kalyn Ponga and Mitchell Pearce, who were also making their Club debuts, Watson looked right at home in Knights colours.

- Connor would have his first try for the Knights only a round later as the Knights travelled down to Canberra to defeat the Raiders.

- Watson made 15 appearances for the Knights in his first season with the red and blue suffering a shoulder injury midway through the year.

- However, 2018 proved to be Watson's most prolific year in terms of try-scoring, nabbing seven tries along with an average of 106 running metres per game.

- Off the back of that, Connor was selected in the 2018 Emerging Blues squad.

- The Knights narrowly missed out on the semi-finals finishing in 11th.


- Watson continually played regularly for the Knights in 2019 in one of his best seasons in the top grade.

- Finding a home at hooker, the livewire managed to run for nearly 100 metres per game, with his total run metres finishing at 2,054.

- Connor played 21 games for the Knights making 82 tackle breaks and 583 tackles.

- The side again finished in 11th, with the dream of playing finals football alluding Watson for another season.


- At the start of the 2020 season, Watson was selected for the Indigenous All Stars for their clash against the New Zealand Maori All Stars.

- The Maori All Stars won 30-16 in an entertaining match on the Gold Coast.

- The year proved to be a difficult season for Watson on the field for Newcastle, with the utility enduring a number of injuries throughout the season.

- After suffering recurring ankle problems in the early parts of 2020, Watson would push through only to rupture his achilles in the Round 11 clash with the Bulldogs.

- Connor only featured five times during 2020, however still found a way to make a difference.

- Watson was awarded the 2020 Ken Stephen Medal for his incredible and passionate work in the community.

- The 25-year-old was recognised for his role with the 'Boots for Brighter Futures' initiative which ran during Indigenous Round.

- His family's charity, the Cultural Choice Association, in which he is the director, aims to raise awareness and to support the prevention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Youth suicide and its related causes.

- Boots were auctioned after Indigenous Round, raising thousand of dollars across the last few years.

- Watson was presented the medal ahead of the NRL Grand Final at ANZ Stadium.

- The versatile utility also signed a one-year extension with the Club until the end of the 2021 season.


- Now into his fourth season with the red and blue, season 2021 could be argued as Watson's best so far.

- Testament to the character of the player, Watson has shaken off a tough previous year due to injury to now be back playing quality football.

- Having played 20 games in multiple positions, Watson has continually executed the role required and been one of the Knights best in the process.

- Connor has scored two tries, made 560 tackles and averaged 110 running metres so far this season.

- Statistically, it's been his best season to date.

- The Knights currently sit ninth only a win outside of the top eight.

- Will a dream finals appearance for Watson and the Knights be on the cards for this season?