Knights coach Adam O'Brien's faith in the strength of the club's junior system has been further re-inforced with the re-signing of young prop Pasami Saulo for a further two years.
The Knights are expected to officially announce Saulo's signing until the end of the 2022 season as early as today, hot on the heels of another young forward Jirah Momoisea committing himself to the club for the same period.
Saulo has featured only six times at NRL level over the past two seasons but at just 21, the former Australian Schoolboy has a huge up-side.
His potential hasn't gone unnoticed by O'Brien during the pre-season with the coach claiming Saulo has some different attributes to most of the club's other, more experienced middle forwards.
"He's a bit like Herman [Ese'ese] in that he offers a point of difference from some of the others because of his speed and footwork," O'Brien told the Newcastle Herald.
"He's definitely a player we have high hopes for if he continues to work hard."
Saulo, who has a partner and two young kids, admits looking after his family is his priority which makes his footy career paramount.
"It's great that the club and Adam have shown some faith in me," he said.
I know I have to get more aggressive and angrier and more physical.Pasami Saulo
"Being off contract and with a new coach coming in, you don't know what they think of you so I was a little bit anxious. But as soon as my manager said the club was interested in re-signing me, I was all for it. I didn't want to have to go anywhere.
"The security is great for my family but now I have to really work hard and keep improving. It's a tough environment when you've got the likes of Klem [David Klemmer], the Saifiti boys [Daniel and Jacob] and Tim Glasby here competing for positions but it's a real driver for me to get better."
And Saulo knows where a big chunk of his improvement must come with the perception out there he is too nice of a bloke for his own good.
"Yeah, I know I have to get more aggressive and angrier and more physical when I'm on the field," he said.
"That's a big part of the game I know I have to get better at and is something I've spoken about with the coach. It's not really my nature but I know I need to get out of my comfort zone a bit.
"It's about leaving my normal emotions and feelings behind when I run out and really just get stuck in and play really tough. Being conscious of it, I know things are just going to click in that regard."
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