New cas­tle Knights

Inside Sport - - TEAM PREVIEWS -

Win­ning com­bi­na­tions

Has there ever been a pre-sea­son as im­por­tant to a club than this sum­mer for the New­cas­tle Knights? As the rugby league world gets ex­cited about his squad’s im­proved chances in 2018 fol­low­ing what surely was the most ag­gres­sive sin­gle off-sea­son re­cruit­ment drive in the game’s his­tory, at this stage it’s all about merely ex­per­i­ment­ing – to see what will work and what won’t – for coach Nathan Brown.

“At this stage of the year, get­ting in so many 13-on-13 op­posed ses­sions is great; we’ve prob­a­bly got more new play­ers than any other club by a fairly high num­ber,” Brown, who is pre­par­ing for his third sea­son with the New­cas­tle clip­board, told Knights TV dur­ing the pre-sea­son.

“For us, it’s all about try­ing to build com­bi­na­tions. We have a lot of new play­ers in key po­si­tions. How ready we’ll be, I sup­pose you never re­ally know. Tri­als don’t give you a 100-per­cent true gauge, but they cer­tainly give you a lit­tle bit of an in­di­ca­tion. If we see a sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment be­tween tri­als one and two, that will take us into round one in good shape, which will be a great re­sult.”

An in­di­ca­tion that things are turn­ing around for the Knights on a range of lev­els was the se­lec­tion of boom young­sters Con­nor Wat­son, Brock Lamb and Daniel Saifiti into the Emerg­ing Blues set-up over the off-sea­son.

Head­line you’ll see: “Lo­cal com­mu­nity ral­lies to Knights’ cause”

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