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Stat Attack: Saab sizzles to challenge Foxx for fastest man title

Jason Saab has shot into the frame as the NRL's fastest man after the winger eclipsed Josh Addo-Carr's 2020 top speed in Manly's round-one loss to the Roosters.

Storm star Addo-Carr, long regarded as the game's quickest, topped last year's Telstra Tracker speed leaderboard with 37.2km/h.

While Addo-Carr still holds the overall record having reached 38.5km/h in 2019, 20-year-old Sea Eagle Saab has thrown down a challenge to the NSW representative by motoring to 37.5km/h on Saturday.

Speaking to NRL.com in February, Saab backed himself as the fastest at his new club while renowned sprint coach Roger Fabri clocked the ex-Dragon at sub-seven seconds over 60 metres with a walking start.

"I've got some national runners, and he was just a metre off them. Over 60, that's pretty ... impressive," Fabri told NRL.com at the time.

"How does he stack up against others? I've had the opportunity to train all of them – he'd be right with them."

In four games for St George Illawarra last year, Saab's top speed was 35.3km/h, with Fabri saying he helped the Merrylands junior improve in bounds over the off-season by altering his running gait.

Panthers halfback Nathan Cleary, as he did so often last year, covered the most distance with 9.45 kilometres in Saturday's win against the Cowboys. Dragons playmaker Adam Clune (9.44km) was next, followed by Roosters pivot Lachlan Lam (9.15) and Sharks pair Chad Townsend (9.14) and William Kennedy (9.11).

Eels utility Will Smith finished atop the metres-per-minute category with 114, though he only played three minutes.

Manly's Tevita Funa (113mpm - six minutes played), Warriors rake Wayde Egan (111mpm - 45 minutes), Bulldogs prop Dylan Napa (109mpm - 17 minutes) and Bayley Sironen (108mpm - 49 minutes) went flat-chat in their time on the park to fill out the top five.

 

Canterbury's Dallin Watene-Zelezniak racked up the most high-speed metres - 20km/h or above - with 878m.

Watene-Zelezniak beat Brisbane's Riki (740 high-speed metres), Sea Eagles winger Reuben Garrick (699), Dragons centre Jack Bird (689) and another Manly outside back in Brad Parker (683).

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