Key Newcastle signing Trent Hodkinson is embracing the pressure that has followed him across from Canterbury to his new NRL home.
The NSW Origin halfback is the wooden spooner’s major off-season signing after their forgettable 2015 season and big things are expected of him.
The 27-year-old, known as rugby league’s Iceman, said that was fine by him.
“I’m used to that. I’m happy with that. I am very calm and laid back on the field and hopefully I can bring that to the Knights,” said Hodkinson said at the Knights first day of pre-season training on Thursday.
“It’s a new challenge, a new beginning. It is different but exciting. I’m out of my comfort zone and I am looking forward to it.
“There is a lot of young talent here and some older leaders so let’s go.
“It would be great to turn things around and make the finals but we have a long way to go.”
A wrist injury cut short Hodkinson’s 2015 season and he is unlikely to begin training with the Knights until the New Year. However he is not in doubt for round one.
New coach Nathan Brown heralded Hodkinson as the chief organiser the club has been missing.
“Trent is a very calm player, he is a good organiser, he has played in two or three grand finals now, he has obviously won a State of Origin series against that great Queensland side.
“The general consensus is that Trent’s style of play will be a good foil for (five-eighth) Jarrod Mullen.
“He is quite aware of the pressure. He has played at the Bulldogs and Manly and he has played in the big games at Origin.”