Star Knights recruit Tyson Frizell says he's not feeling any weight of expectation as he slowly finds his feet on and off the training paddock in Newcastle.
The former Sharks and Dragons back-rower, who has played 14 times for NSW and Australia, was the Knights' major signing for 2021.
His addition to the forward pack has only raised expectations that the club can build on their drought-breaking finals return last season.
Frizell has been training with the Knights since early January and is set to play for the first time when they take on Melbourne in a trial at Albury on February 27.
The 29-year-old, who played 165 games across eight seasons with St George Illawarra, said he only recently started to feel at home in Newcastle.
"It probably took me a few weeks to find my feet, not just on the field but also off it as well, in getting around town," Frizell said.
"But I'm really enjoying it so far and it's really exciting that the season start is around the corner.
"The longer I've been here the more I've started to enjoy it. The town's awesome, the people here are very kind and they've been very welcoming.
"Everywhere I've gone there's a lot of smiles and a lot of hellos, which is nice. The family, too, they are quite settled, which is a bonus for me and I'm able to focus on my footy knowing that they're happy."
Frizell, though, said he had not felt the weight of expectation from a rugby league-mad town.
"I'm just excited to be honest," he said. "To be in a new town, in new colours, being in a new environment.
"No expectations, just excited to play.
"I want to play for the town. The club showed a lot of faith in bringing me here and hopefully I can do that and play some good footy and repay them that way."
He said training so far had been tough and a learning experience.
"For me, it's a lot of learning," he said. "Coming to a new team, similar structures, some things are different.
"But for me, it's all focusing on footy and learning, and getting to know a lot of other players and how they play, which has been nice.
"So the more we go the more I can build combinations and confidence with other players and I can probably say the same for them with me playing alongside them."
Teammate Connor Watson, who looks set to join Frizell in the starting pack this season in his new role at lock, said the representative star had impressed at training.
"Big Tys, he's a stud," Watson said. "I think he's got a pretty good aura about him, he's done a lot in the game. He's played for Australia and NSW.
"He brings a wealth of experience with that too and I think just the way he trains ... if you look at him, he's a specimen, so you know he eats well, he trains well and he's been really good to have around the group."
** The Knights announced on Friday that sponsors Brydens Lawyers were again on board as membership partners for 2021.