Hodkinson named Knights NRL co-captain

Star recruit Trent Hodkinson has been named co-captain of Newcastle alongside hard men Jeremy Smith and Tariq Sims.

The trio has been appointed to take over the leadership for the 2016 NRL season following the departure of long-term skipper Kurt Gidley.

Despite having not pulled on the Knights’ jersey in a NRL season game, Hodkinson was appointed to the role.

With Newcastle fielding a mostly inexperienced squad, coach Nathan Brown handed the honour to Hodkinson due to his big-game experience.

After debuting with Manly in 2010, he moved to Canterbury the following year and played in their 2014 grand-final loss to Melbourne.

He also helped NSW to break their eight-year State of Origin series drought in 2014 and is considered a cornerstone of the Knights’ revival under Brown.

“He is very calm and well measured and can control the team on the field,” Brown said.

“He’s an Origin player and played in grand finals and is a good mentor for the younger players.”

Hodkinson’s halves partner Jarrod Mullen was the front-runner for the captaincy, however his aspirations were ruined after falling foul of Brown for drinking while injured before the Christmas break.

Sims was given the honour despite the fact he will miss the first five weeks due to a suspension for a shoulder charge on James Segeyaro in last year’s final round.

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