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Daniel Saifiti's road to 150 NRL games

From a prodigious local talent from the Central Coast to becoming a leader, representative player and elite forward in our game.

Daniel Saifiti has already achieved so much, all at his hometown club.

The towering forward will notch 150 games in the NRL this Sunday against the Manly Sea Eagles at McDonald Jones Stadium.

Take a look back at D-Saf's road to 150 NRL games.


Daniel made his NYC debut in Round 1 of 2015, defeating the New Zealand Warriors 41-16. He would impress throughout the year as a mainstay in the starting prop position, scoring a total of four tries and earning the coaches award at the 2015 end of season presentation.

Before his NRL debut the following year, he made his international debut for Fiji against Papua New Guinea alongside identical twin brother Jacob in the Bati's 22-10 victory on May 2nd.


Interview: Saifiti Twins

In Round 1 of the 2016 season, Saifiti made his NRL debut for the Knights in a 30-12 loss to the Gold Coast Titans at Cbus Super Stadium.

Although tasting defeat in his first NRL game, Daniel would cross for a debut try wearing jersey number 18.

Playing alongside brother Jacob, the pair became the first twins in Australian rugby league history to debut together.

Daniel would feature heavily in the 2016 season playing in another 19 games plus making his second appearance for Fiji.

D-Saf was awarded the Rookie of the Year award at the Danny Buderus Medal awards night.


Saifiti impressed again through his second NRL season and became a mainstay in the Knights forward pack.

Amassing 23 games, he was rewarded with a contract extension until 2020.

Saifiti played his third game for Fiji in a classic game against Tonga, although the Fijians went down 26-24.

Daniel tallied 2,700 running metres in 2017, his most in a single season which also included 35 tackle breaks.

In the sheds: Daniel Saifiti Rd 21

Saifiti would receive the Players’ Player honour at the end of the 2017 season, awarded by his peers as a recognition for his consistency and effort throughout the season.


Daniel continued to take his game to another level in 2018.

D-Saf was a huge part of the team’s improvement in 2018, playing 21 games, scoring three tries and again passing the 2000 running metre mark.

The Knights would move off the bottom of the ladder for the first time in three seasons finishing in 11th place with 9 wins.


2019 proved to be Daniel’s breakout season.

The 24-year-old impressed in the early stages of the year and was rewarded with selection in the NSW State of Origin team.

The prop made his debut in the number 8 jersey in 2019’s Game 2 as NSW defeated Queensland 38-6 at Perth Stadium.

Daniel was again named in the representative side for Game 3 in which NSW won 26-20 to claim the series at the former ANZ Stadium.

Saifiti was instrumental in the Blues lifting the shield.

The forward would average 94 run metres in his 21 NRL games for the 2019 season, as the Knights would again finish in 11th place, one win away from a finals appearance.

D-Saf was re-signed until the end of the 2022 season.


Saifiti was a crucial part of Adam O’Brien’s plans in 2020 as the side finished in the top eight for the first time since 2013.

The front row enforcer was hurt by injury in the year, but played 14 games in the shortened 20 round season.

Origin Special: Daniel Saifiti reflects on his unforgettable debut for the Blues

Saifiti was reselected for NSW in a unique State of Origin series played at the back end of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown.

The 24-year-old played all three games as NSW lost 2-1 to Queensland.


In the following season, Daniel would pick up where he left off in a man of the match display against the Bulldogs in his 100th NRL game.

Saifiti, as co-captain, would score 2 tries, bust 6 tackles and run for 174 metres.

D-Saf would have a career best season, improving to 148 run metres, two tackle breaks and 28 tackles per game for the season.

The Knights would surge home and finish the competition in 7th place, facing the Parramatta Eels in an elimination final. Daniel would find himself fit and selected for the finals match, running a team-best 174 metres in the 28-20 nail-biting loss.

Saifiti featured in the State of Origin series, scoring his first Origin try in Game I as the Blues went on to thrash the Maroons 50-6. The Blues would go onto win the series.

Watch: D-Saf's first Origin try


2022 was Daniel's seventh season in the top grade.

Despite a down year for the Newcastle Knights, Daniel again was able to leave an impact on the field, adding two tries to the tally and appearing in 19 games for the club.

D-Saf would have his best game of the season in Round 22 against the Brisbane Broncos. Although the Knights would fall short 28-10, Daniel would muscle over for a try in the 58th minute to go with 176 running metres.


Saifiti has played in all 11 games to start the 2023 season averaging 138 run metres.

The forward will run out for game 150 against the Sea Eagles back in front of the home supporters at McDonald Jones Stadium.