Speed abounds at the Sea Eagles with Tom Trbojevic, Reuben Garrick and former high school athletics star Tolutau Koula among their NRL squad.
Despite that impressive list, 20-year-old recruit Jason Saab reckons he's the quickest of the lot.
"I have to believe in myself, of course. No arrogance at all, but I’d like to put myself up there," the ex-Dragons winger told NRL.com.
"But there are some fast people. Tommy Turbo - he's called Tommy Turbo for a reason. Gazza as well is pretty fast. Tolu, he's a track runner, he's run 10.58 [seconds over 100 metres] on the track.
"I've never run on the track ... It would be very close for sure."
Despite standing at 199cm, Saab surprisingly ranks only "third or fourth" when it comes to vertical leaping at the club.
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Saab's athletic ability is clear. Renowned sprint coach Roger Fabri waxed lyrical about the young talent, who has played seven NRL games, after working with him for six weeks in the off-season.
Fabri clocked Saab as running 60 metres in about seven seconds.
"And that was [starting] stationary. I think he even ran sub-seven seconds with a walking start," Fabri told NRL.com.
"They're hand-held times. I've got some national runners, and he was just a metre off them. Over 60, that's pretty ... impressive.
"How does he stack up against others? I've had the opportunity to train all of them – he'd be right with them.
No arrogance at all, but I’d like to put myself up thereManly winger Jason Saab on the fastest man at Manly
"And the longer the race was, the better. If we're looking at 40 metres, I think he'd struggle. But if we raced over 100, he'd probably finish over the top of them. The guy's got a serious set of wheels."
According to Fabri, Saab's pace improved drastically in their time together as he "cleaned up" his running gait.
In four appearances for St George Illawarra in 2020, Saab reached a personal best of 35.3km/h, per Telstra Tracker data, and had 42 high-speed efforts in one match (bursts of 20km/h or more).
Melbourne's Josh Addo-Carr (36.9km/h) and Parramatta's Clint Gutherson (45 high-speed efforts) topped those categories last year.
On his drawn-out exit from the Dragons, Saab acknowledged the situation wasn't ideal. The distance between his home in South Wentworthville and training in Wollongong was one issue.
While he's living in western Sydney, the promising finisher is content commuting to the northern beaches.
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"I don't regret my decision one bit. I did it for obvious reasons and I'm happy I'm here," he said of the call to pursue a release.
"I did what I had to do to make things easier for myself, my family, and obviously my mental health space.
"In the football world, things change overnight. It is probably frowned upon to do those sort of things.
"And no one really wants that criticism, but that's life."
Saab also revealed he's had enquiries from Lebanon coach Michael Cheika about representing the Cedars ahead of the World Cup.
"My stepdad's Lebanese. I'm not Lebanese by blood. Whether I can play for them or not, I'm not sure in eligibility terms," he said.
"I'm Australian, so I want to play for Australia, play Origin."
Sea Eagles in 2021
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