Newcastle Knights recruit Aidan Guerra is sure the club are heading for a successful NRL campaign.
The Hunter club have finished bottom of the NRL for the past three seasons, but Guerra is not alone in feeling they will be much more competitive this year and, after an intense pre-season at his new club, he's raring to go for Friday's opening round meeting with the Manly Sea Eagles.
The former Sydney Roosters forward reckons that after all the talk of their off-season recruitment, the most important thing is how they translate it into a performance under new club co-captains Mitchell Pearce and Jamie Buhrer.
"You sort of get sick of tackling your own team-mates, and you look forward to testing yourselves against other sides and for us that's round one against Manly," said Guerra, who's chalked up 154 NRL appearances across eight seasons.
"I'm really enjoying my time here and I'm sure it's going to be a successful year for the Knights."
Guerra, who's come in on a three-year deal from the Tricolours, has been joined by fellow recruits including Kalyn Ponga from the Cowboys, former Sharks man Chris Heighington and ex-Broncos pair Tautau Moga and Herman Ese'ese.
He said the club's rebuilding strategy under coach Nathan Brown had meant there were a crop of talented younger forwards coming through the ranks.
"There has been a lot of hype around town and there's no doubt that the excitement is in the air," added Guerra. "I know that I'm certainly looking forward to feeding off what a home crowd does for you in Newcastle."
The Knights are 5000/1 to win the NRL Grand Final, while Newcastle are 350/1 to finish in the top eight.
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