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Quick fire ton for durable, reliable Newnes

Josh Gabelich  May 19, 2017 5:10 PM

Newnes on his 100th Jack Newnes spoke to SAINTS.com.au as he reaches his 100th game this weekend against Sydney.
AFL 2017 Round 08 - St Kilda v Carlton

Jack Newnes has played the last 74 consecutive games.

That’s the reason you play footy: to play finals and those big games. We haven’t quite done that yet.

St Kilda wingman Jack Newnes has raced to 100 games. In less than six years, the gut running midfielder has reached the milestone on the back of a stunning streak of durability that sees him become just the sixth player from his draft class to raise the bat.

After establishing himself as a senior player in his second year, Newnes has rarely missed a game since. In fact, the Victorian has played the last 74 games in a row to establish himself as an integral member of the Saints’ engine room and future.

“It’s my sixth year now so to get to 100 in six years it has come up pretty fast. I’ve had a great time at the club and I’ve loved every minute of it,” Newnes told saints.com.au ahead of the clash with Sydney at Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

“I’ve been pretty lucky I guess; I haven’t had too many injuries thus far. I had a few in my second year but other than that I’ve been pretty lucky.

“You’re always going to play with a bit of soreness and other things like that but I’ve just managed to stay out on the park and I try and get through every session as well and I guess it’s just about managing my body.”

Since being recruited with pick No. 37 in the 2011 National Draft – the exact same pick as Leigh Montagna a decade earlier – Newnes has never featured in September, with the Saints yet to play a final during his time at the club. Although, he can sense the winds of change sweeping through.

“I’ve been here for a while now and it’s probably the first time we’ve won three in a row or even just had this confidence or belief in the team,” Newnes said.

“I haven’t played a finals game yet, so this year’s been really exciting. That’s the reason you play footy: to play finals and those big games. We haven’t quite done that yet.”

After establishing himself amongst the top handful of wingmen in the competition last season, the running machine has combined his time on a wing with stints across half-back across the first two months of this season.

Yet to dip under 20 disposals in any of the first eight games, Newnes is averaging career-highs for disposals (25.1) and rebound 50s (3.9), and is ranked No. 3 at St Kilda for metres gained (472.4). 

“I’ve played mostly wing but this year there’s been a few times I’ve had to go down back. Jimmy Webster got injured on the weekend and depending on how the teams going we throw things around a bit,” he said.

“I’m really comfortable playing both roles down back and on the wing. I’m really loving my roles at the moment.”

Newnes has been part of a changing of the guard at St Kilda. He and Mav Weller joined the leadership group at the start of 2015, and now, in his third year in the role, he is one of the more experienced leaders in the group, with the arrival of three new faces.

“Me and Mav went in a couple of years ago and now we’ve got ‘Brucey’ and Seb Ross, Dyl Roberton in there, along with ‘Gears’, ‘Armo’, Jack Steven. For ‘Roo’ and ‘Joey’ to step out, nothing has really changed because they’re still leading. It’s good to have the younger boys driving a bit more and leading around the club.”

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