Nathan Brown will spend the next month sorting out Newcastle’s recruitment and retention program, including the possible acquisition of Robbie Farah, after being officially unveiled on Wednesday as the Knights’ new NRL coach.
After being announced as the Knights preferred candidate for the head role last week, Brown’s appointment was confirmed on Wednesday afternoon at a media conference at Hunter Stadium.
Before news broke of his new job as successor to Rick Stone, who was sacked mid-season, Brown said he felt unwanted Wests Tigers skipper Farah could reinvent himself at another club.
And on Wednesday, Brown didn’t deny he was interested in the services of the NSW rake when questioned specifically about him.
“I haven’t even looked at our roster yet with ‘Gids’ (CEO Matthew Gidley) so I couldn’t give you an honest answer right now,” Brown told reporters in Newcastle.
“Talking about the roster and what may or may not happen, I’m better off talking about that in three or four weeks.”
However, last week on Fox Sports’ NRL360, Brown was more effusive about Farah, with whom he had developed a relationship while working as a NSW assistant coach.
“Robbie, until the other day, had just been standing and shovelling the ball,” Brown said.
“So from a person who’s played hooker and (has been) lucky enough to coach some good hookers, I think if Robbie Farah goes and plays for someone else, he’ll look back and say they’ve done him a favour.
“I think he’ll get to play the style of footy that’s going to suit him and he’ll get to take the good things that happened at the Tigers and help improve another club.”
Danny Buderus, who had taken over from Stone in an interim capacity, is set to be a key part of Brown’s coaching team.
“Whatever he wants to do, I am sure he will contribute very well,” Brown said.
“He is obviously a local legend and player that actually wore the jumper with pride on every occasion and that is probably the key to the young players coming through.”
Brown nominated Sione Mata’utia, Joseph Tapine and Danny Levi as among the players who were the future of the current wooden spoon holders.
Farah shapes as a key buy for the Knights, who have already lured NSW halfback Trent Hodkinson to the Hunter for next season.