With or without the captaincy, star recruit Trent Hodkinson says he’ll still be calling the shots as Newcastle’s playmaker this NRL season.
Hodkinson said it was nice to share skipper duties with Jeremy Smith in Saturday’s 34-28 trial loss to Canberra, his first hitout with the Knights and since injuring his wrist last year.
The duo is likely to share the leadership role for 2016, taking over from Kurt Gidley who is playing with Warrington in the Super League.
“I’d enjoy it, no doubt,” Hodkinson said on Tuesday when asked about taking on the responsibility.
“As a halfback you’re sort of like a captain out there calling the shots anyway. Whether you had the `c’ next to your name or not, it’s not going to change my role.
“There’s a core senior player group here and I’m sure Browny (coach Nathan Brown) will make the right decision when it comes.”
The NSW State of Origin halfback played 60 minutes in the Orange trial and was pleased to come out injury free and “not too sore”.
But he said the Knights have a lot more work to do before their season-opener against Gold Coast on March 6.
He rued their first-half defensive lapse, in which they conceded 34 points in 30 minutes, and the free metres they gave the Raiders.
“We know we are far better than what we produced out at Orange,” he said.
“We’ve just to work hard as a group now and make sure we fix it.”