Veteran playmaker Blake Green has joined the Knights for the remainder of the 2020 season following the team’s mounting injury toll.
Newcastle coach Adam O’Brien says the 33-year-old journeyman, who is now at his ninth professional club, will boost the squad’s efforts to fight through a packed casualty ward.
The Knights’ injury list now includes young gun Bradman Best (ankle), star prop Daniel Saifiti (knee), Sione Mata’utia (ankle), Tim Glasby (concussion), and Edrick Lee (arm), as well as hooker Andrew McCullough (hamstring), Connor Watson (achilles) and Jayden Brailey (knee), with the latter three all ruled out for the season.
“I have a responsibility to the players who are working their backsides off to keep fighting every day and give us the best chance to win,” O’Brien says.
“We also have a responsibility to our supporters, sponsors, and town to compete each week and strive for success.
“Blake’s arrival helps us continue our fight and it’s something he is excited to be part of.”
Green started his NRL career at Parramatta in 2007 before going on to play for Cronulla and Canterbury.
A stint in the English Super League then saw him turn out for Hull and Wigan, while he also represented Melbourne, Manly, and New Zealand, playing more than 250 first grade games in total.
O’Brien, who worked with Green for two seasons at Melbourne, views his arrival as far more than just a halves partner for Mitchell Pearce.
“It’s an exciting opportunity for our younger guys to soak up some knowledge,” O’Brien says.
“It is important to acknowledge that we have some very young and promising players, but their development can’t be rushed, and it would be unfair to heap unnecessary pressure on a young player at this stage of their career.
“Blake’s arrival allows us to continue their development without putting them at risk.”
The Knights have dropped two straight games, 18-12 to Canterbury and 26-16 to Melbourne, leaving the club in seventh position on the ladder.
Newcastle will tackle Wests Tigers at McDonald Jones Stadium this Saturday 8 August from 5.30pm.