NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 01: Danny Levi of the Knights looks dejected during the round 25 NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the St George Illawarra Dragons at McDonald Jones Stadium on September 1, 2018 in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)

Newcastle coach Nathan Brown has said the starting role at hooker belongs to Danny Levi.

This announcement comes after the Knights signed Kurt Mann from the Dragons.

Brown believes that Mann can be converted into a serviceable hooker in the NRL and could challenge Levi for the role in 2019.

“Worst case scenario is he will be in the 17 somewhere and best case for Kurt is he adapts to the dummy half game and puts a lot of pressure on people like Danny,” Brown told The Herald.

Mann took part in his first session with the club on Monday and will work with Levi and Zac Woolford, as well as assistant Rory Kostjasyn, in order to learn the hooker position.

There have been rumours circling that Levi could be on his way out of the Knights, but this was steadfastly denied by Brown.

“At the moment, he [Levi] is probably our only, what I’d call, a genuine top hooker that has played hooker all his life in the squad that’s played first grade,” Brown said.

“I would think that where Danny is at today compared to where he was at 12 months ago, I think he is more prepared to knuckle down and make some improvements and fight and become the best player he can become.”

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5 COMMENTS

  1. The question of whether Nathan Brown can coach or not is answered by his continued “square peg in round hole” approach. Forcing a failing hooker into the position while training a player who is NOT a hooker to take over the role. Here’s a thought, recruit a REAL hooker instead. It is the one key position that the Knights have failed to cover. Depending on where Ponga plays they may also need to look for a quality FB instead of a makeshift one to replace him.

    If Ponga stays at FB then they are only missing a quality hooker but seem determined not to recruit one. Until they do they will never be a top 4 side, mark my words.

    • They do have a “real” hooker (Slade Griffin), as you put it, but he is out with an ACL injury until mid year (best case senario) so what would be the point of buying another hooker when we have Levi (who at his best can be a great good hooker) and Buhrer to cover the position. Buying someone like Mann to learn the position will only help the Knights depth if a player goes down injured, as well as cover a bunch of other positions if need be as well.

  2. Ponga
    Lee
    Ramien
    Moga
    Hunt
    Lino
    Pearce
    Barnett
    Guerra
    Fitzgibbon
    Klemmer
    Levi
    Glasby

    D Saifiti
    SMatautia
    Gavet
    Mann

    Top 4 potential for sure Reg

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