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20 stars for 2022 | Jacob Kiraz

The Newcastle Knights boast a quality list of young outside backs and Jacob Kiraz is one on that production line who’s building a great case for an NRL start in the near future.

Having previously played for the St George Dragons’ SG Ball Cup side in 2019, the St Johns junior was recruited by the Knights for 2021 after a stint in North Queensland. But Kiraz has managed to make his presence felt in just a short time at his new club.

Since arriving in Newcastle, Kiraz – already with a Lebanon Test appearance on his resume – didn’t take long to become a fixture of The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup side.

He played nine matches on the wing for two tries, one try-assist, three line-breaks, 17 tackle busts and eight offloads, averaging a solid 94 run metres and eight tackles per game.

Kiraz produced enough strong performances – particularly through his work-rate – to earn an NRL top-30 contract for 2022.

After making an impact in his opening year with the Novocastrians, Kiraz has clearly caught the eye of NRL head coach Adam O’Brien.

As he keeps making progress in training with the top squad, the healthy competition in the Newcastle backline could be just what Kiraz needs to pair an NRL debut jersey with his first Test cap.