GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - MAY 19: Slade Griffin of the Knights passes during the round 11 NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Newcastle Knights at Cbus Super Stadium on May 19, 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

In the wake of a potentially career ending ACL injury, Knights hooker Slade Griffin will be handed a wrestling coach role in an effort to solidify Newcastle’s woeful defence.

While Griffin will still hope to make a comeback to NFL in 2019, the Herald Sun reports that Knights coach Nathan Brown has deemed it unlikely for him to appear at the highest level of competition.

“He has to see his specialist and if everything is really good healing-wise from his first operation, you’d expect with his next operation, if that goes well, he may play very late in the season,” Brown said.

“But I’d suggest it wouldn’t be in the NRL. He’d be aiming to have a few games at the back end in reserve grade.

“Even that would hinge on him being right to have the second operation straight away. If it hasn’t healed enough and he has got to wait another month or two, he’ll be struggling to even get back at all next year.”

With his playing future in jeopardy, the chance for Griffin’s talents to otherwise be utilised in a coaching position will be welcomed by Newcastle, who need to bolster their defence moving into 2019.

“When Slade was at the Storm, they considered him their best ruck defender and technically, their best wrestler and he was very clearly our best by a country mile so there is a potential lifeline there for him.

“The key for us is we want him to teach a few other guys how to do it effectively because it’s obviously an area where we have to get more proficient.

“I think everyone would agree if we are to take ourselves to a new level next season, we have to be a whole lot better defensively and clearly, it needs to be a real focus for us in the pre-season.”

Newcastle have leaked 2055 points during Brown’s three year stint as head coach, more than double the amount the Storm have lost in the same period. They ranked as the second worst defensive side in 2018 with 607 points, but their 11th-placed finish this year marks an all-round improvement over their 2017 wooden spoon effort.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks heavens for that! For a second I thought old “Barney Rubble” (aka Anthony Griffin) was coaching again and the Knights CEO Matthew Gidley had gone on a bender!

    • I thought that Gidley had gone and the Wests Club had put their own man in. Not trying to be smart with you, just saying.

      • I wasn’t going for accuracy but for effect but thanks for drawing a red line through my punchline chalky. There’s always one in every crowd but that’s OK.

        Actually you are wrong. Gidley is still officially the acting CEO until he stands down on 1st November (See below).

        Wests chief executive Phil Gardner will replace Matt Gidley as Newcastle Knights CEO.

        “The Knights announced on Friday that Gidley would “stand down” on November 1 from the position”

        https://www.theherald.com.au/story/4943258/gardner-to-replace-gidley-as-knights-ceo/

        So are we good now “Mrs Marsh”? “Ooooh, it does get in!” 😂😂😂

        • Well pardon me while I pull my pants back up and remove the egg from my face. Fair enough. Apologies to the Knights fans, Mrs Marsh (aka chalky) and anyone else who are also “that guy”, but as I said… “I wasn’t going for accuracy but for effect”. Next time I will just post CEO instead of specifying a name if I am trying to make a joke instead of making an actual point. 👍

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