Nathan Brown has hosed down whispers that 28-year-old Newcastle winger Akuila Uate is on the outer at the club after two frustrating seasons.
Despite the club’s troubles, the Knights have uncovered the likes of young speedsters Jake Mamo, Nathan Ross and the Mata’utia brothers.
“We’re confident he’s going to have a good year,” Coach Nathan Brown told The Newcastle Herald.
“He’s trained really well, he’s one of the few players in the club with a lot of experience and he’s setting a good example for the other players with his attitude.
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“When he was in rehab, the way he treated his injury was top class, and on the field at training his attention to detail has been really, really good.
“He’s offered some good advice to our young fellas and I can’t fault him.’’
Brown has also all but locked Uate in for the Auckland Nines.
“I would have thought he’d play,’’ Brown said.
“He’s keen to play and as a bit of a cult hero, I think the crowds would like him to play.
“He’s an entertainer, so he’s definitely someone we’ll be looking to play.’’