Akuila Uate set to go all guns blazing

You thought you saw a destructive Akuila Uate in 2010? You ain’t seen nothing yet. According to Knights coach Rick Stone, and Knights officials, Uate is only going to get better in 2011.

In an ominous warning for the rest of the NRL teams, Uate who is 100kg of pure ripped muscle, began training yesterday along with his Knights team-mates as they aim to bounce back from a somewhat topsy-turvy year.

In what was without a doubt Uate’s career best year, a year which saw him unlucky not to be selected for NSW and Australia, the Fijian speedster scored 21 tries and was named the Dally M Winger of the Year.

In a message that many opposition teams won’t want to hear, Mick Reid, Knights strength coach said that the potential exists for Uate to increase one key attribute – his speed.

“We think he can go even faster,” Reid said yesterday.

“It is something we’re working on with him. There is the potential there for some more improvement in his speed.

“A couple of times last season there were opportunities for him to probably pin his ears back and go for it and he didn’t.

“It’s something that we will be concentrating on.”

Whilst Uate has officially been given clearance to play for both NSW and Australia, Rick Stone believes that Uate shouldn’t and won’t get too ahead of himself.

“It’s going to be the big question, isn’t it – can Aku reproduce in 2011 the sort of form he produced last season?” Stone said.

“He’s certainly got some expectation to deal with now but if he can consistently perform to the same level next season, there are going to be some special times ahead for him.

“It’s early days. There is some scope there for him to drop a little bit of weight.

“He’s around 100kg at the moment but you are probably looking at him playing at about 97kg. We’ll keep him pretty grounded and make sure he keeps doing everything right.

“He’s certainly got the potential to be a potent force for us again, that’s for sure.”

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