Akuila Uate has already asserted himself as rugby league's top winger, and on the eve of his Test debut Cooper Cronk says he can take it to the next level.

The Newcastle winger made an enormous impression on the NRL in 2011, finishing as the game's equal leading try-scorer while earning his State of Origin and Test debuts and also being named the Dally M winger of the year.

But Cronk, who at Melbourne played alongside two of the most gifted athletes to reach the NRL in the modern era - Greg Inglis and Israel Folau, said Uate had them both covered athletically.

At times in his career Inglis has been described as the best player in the world, while Folau's incredible athletic feats were rewarded with a massive pay cheque when the AFL targeted him to be the face of their Greater Western Sydney franchise.


"In terms of his strength, power base and explosive running, yeah without a doubt (he's in the Inglis/Folau class)," Cronk said on Thursday.

"Greg and Israel are different beasts to Aku I think. They're all big bodies, but Aku's probably a bit quicker than the other two guys.

"... There's no tougher person to tackle in our game than Aku in full flight."

Uate says he is constantly ribbed by his Knights team-mates about being the game's most elite winger.

"I get it all the time, I always shake my head and laugh," he said.

"I get it all the time with the Knights boys, it's the way football is ... I've just got to go along with it."

Playing at Ausgrid stadium on Sunday, and making his debut in front of family and a legion of loyal fans, is exciting for the brilliant 24-year-old.

"It's a really big honour for me," he added.


"To be part of the team is an amazing experience, and just playing alongside the greatest of our game ... I'm really looking forward to it.

"I remember when I first came to Newcastle, as a young bloke, and now I'm playing for Aussie and my learning process has been going up.

"I love learning more things and to be part of this Kangaroos side is going to give me more confidence and it's going to improve my learning process throughout my career."