Newcastle great Andrew Johns has been approached to help the struggling NRL club in a coaching capacity in 2015.
Newcastle great Andrew Johns rescued the Knights countless times in his celebrated 15-year NRL career and has been called upon again to produce another resuscitation effort on the struggling club.
The rugby league Immortal has been approached by the Knights to work as an assistant coach from next year as they attempt to rebuild following the departure of supercoach Wayne Bennett to Brisbane at season’s end.
Former Knights coach Rick Stone remains the frontrunner to take over the top job again, but Johns would undoubtedly be a crucial addition to the coaching set-up.
The former Knights skipper and two-time premiership winner has achieved great success working as a halves coach at premiership leaders Manly with superstar duo Daly Cherry-Evans and Kieran Foran, and could do likewise with Jarrod Mullen and Tyrone Roberts at Newcastle.
He has also previously worked as a NSW assistant coach.
With Mullen sidelined alongside Darius Boyd, James McManus, Akuila Uate and Chris Houston, the Knights were flogged 50-10 by South Sydney in Cairns on Sunday to continue a poor season and without any big-name signings for next year they could struggle again.
Knights management has signalled their intention to return to a greater community involvement with the club on the back of Nathan Tinkler’s exit, and Johns would fit the bill.
Johns’ brother Matthew said on his Triple M radio show on Sunday that the man they call ‘Joey’ could continue his 249-game connection with the club in a coaching capacity.
“From what I understand, there has been an approach to structure their attacking, some of their attacking stuff but I don’t know if he’ll go,” Matthew Johns said.
“He has got a young family and he is loving his time (at Manly).
“Newcastle are keen for him to come back and do some stuff if he has the time.”
Knights skipper Kurt Gidley refused to enter into speculation about Johns’ possible return.
“I’m not going to comment on what coaches might be coming to the club next year,” he told the post-game press conference in Cairns.
The Knights’ loss leaves them two points clear of last-placed Cronulla on 16 points with five regular season games to go.
Souths’ win put them into second place on 28 points ahead of Penrith on for-and-against.
Wearing a Marvel Comics Superhero themed jersey on Friday night as part of a round-21 promotion, the ‘Wolverine’ Sea Eagles – in paying homage to superstar supporter Hugh Jackman – kept top spot on the NRL ladder.
With a hard-fought 16-4 win over Brisbane at Brookvale Oval, the Sea Eagles are two wins ahead of Souths and Penrith.
Across town, Penrith defeated an out-of-form Canterbury 22-16 but look to have lost Bryce Cartwright, Elijah Taylor and Brent Kite for the season in a mounting injury toll.
The loss drops Canterbury to fifth.
On Saturday, Jarryd Hayne ruled Remondis Stadium as Parramatta defeated Cronulla 32-12 to keep the Eels’ finals hopes alive.
Sixth-placed North Queensland beat the Gold Coast 28-8 in Townsville with representative prop Matt Scott starring after two months out with a cheekbone injury.
NSW centre Michael Jennings stood out for the fourth-placed Sydney Roosters in his return after a month on the sidelines with a back injury in scoring two tries in the premiers’ 30-22 defeat of St George Illawarra at Allianz Stadium.
The seventh-placed Warriors hammered a hapless Canberra in the nation’s capital on Sunday 54-18 to put further pressure on Raiders coach Ricky Stuart.
On Monday night, the embattled Wests Tigers host eighth-placed Melbourne at Campbelltown Stadium in the tribute match for injured former Tigers forward Simon Dwyer.