After an intense pre-season at his new club, Newcastle Knights recruit Aidan Guerra is itching to get out on the field for the opening game of the 2018 Telstra Premiership on Friday night against the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles.
The former Sydney Roosters forward took a well-earned break from the tactical training and on-field drills during the week to join his teammates in a pre-season bonding camp in Port Stephens.
He believes enough has been said about the club's off-season recruitment and all that matters now is performing each week, under new club co-captains Mitchell Pearce and Jamie Buhrer.
"All there is to do now is get out there and play," Guerra said.
"You sort of get sick of tackling your own teammates, and you look forward to testing yourselves against other sides and for us that's round one against Manly."
Guerra was enticed by Nathan Brown and has nothing but praise for the younger forwards who are coming through the ranks under the coach's rebuilding strategy.
"The players around me are becoming better footballers," Guerra said.
"I'm really enjoying my time here and I'm sure it's going to be a successful year for the Knights."
The former Queensland State of Origin and one-time Australian representative has chalked up 154 Telstra Premiership appearances in eight seasons.
But right now, he only has one message for the Knights' die-hard supporters, who are getting excited by the team's prospects in 2018 after three straight wooden spoons.
"There has been a lot of hype around town and there's no doubt that the excitement is in the air," Guerra said.
"I know that I'm certainly looking forward to feeding off what a home crowd does for you in Newcastle.
"I've come here a couple of times to play against Newcastle and the crowd most certainly plays a big part."