Prize Newcastle Knights recruit Trent Hodkinson plans to use his representative experience to bring leadership to the 2015 NRL cellar dwellers in their first season under a new coach Nathan Brown.
Halfback Hodkinson, who has played the last six games for NSW in the last two Origin series, has switched from regular finals participant Canterbury to a Newcastle club that managed just eight wins last year.
The 27-year-old playmaker will inevitably be a pivotal figure in any Knights revival under Brown, who was a consultant to the NSW Blues in this year’s Origin series.
“It’s a great challenge up there to test myself as a player and I’m looking forward to working under Browny as well,” Hodkinson told AAP.
“I had a bit to do with him during the Origin period.
“It’s only been early days, but he’s just a no nonsense coach and you need to rip in and get the job done and he’s happy.
“It’s been great so far, he’s been nice and clear and he’s bought his own structures, defensively and offensively to the club, and all the boys have jumped on board nicely.”
Hodkinson accepts his big match experience combined with the responsibilities of his position will immediately make him a leadership figure at his new club.
“Being a halfback you’re a leader out there whether you’ve got the captaincy or not, that just becomes part of the position,” Hodkinson said.
“I’m really looking forward to it. My experience at Origin level and finals level can help out the side and that’s what I look forward to doing.
The Knights have lost representative stars Kurt Gidley and Beau Scott, but Hodkinson is encouraged by the youthful talent emerging at the club.
“There’s big shoes to fill, but there’s a lot of young guys that are very hungry to learn and are very keen to get their crack at first grade,” Hodkinson said.
“It’s only going to be bonus for the club, pushing the older guys, for their spots.”