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Season 2013



The boys return to training next week.

Hopefully we will have a better year in regards to injuries. 
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[CENTER] Round 1 - Newcastle Knights vs Wests Tigers in 57 Days, 20 Hours, 43 Minutes and 23 Seconds.



Line for Round 1?

1. Darius Boyd
2. James McManus
3. Timana Tahu
4. Dane Gagai
5. Akuila Uate
6. Jarrod Mullen
7. Kurt Gidley
8. Kade Snowden
9. Danny Buderus
10. Willie Mason
11. Beau Scott
12. Chris Houston
13. Jeremy Smith

14. Matt Hilder
15. Neville Costigan
16. Mitchell Frei
17. David Fa'alogo

18. Alex McKinnon
19. Joseph Leilua
20. Robbie Rochow
21. Adam Cuthbertson
22. Korbin Sims

So much depth in the forwards.

Makes me a bit sad that Gidley has to play in the halves. I want to see him at fullback or hooker. 


We haven't officially signed BJ Leilua yet. 


Who is Mitchell frei ??? 


A young Broncos discard, apparently a good young player. 


Not a discard, just stuck behind a backlog of talent. Surprised he didn't get a run in the NRL last year. Broncos let him go out of respect to his talents that were being wasted. 


Have you seen him play, I'd never heard of him till he signed with us, apparently a good young prospect though, I've heard he has been training well. 


What position does he play ? 


He is a front rower.

[h=1]Frei aims to make impact at Knights[/h][h=2]By SHANNA BEETON [/h]

[*] SEEKING EXPERIENCE: Mitchell Frei at The Forum yesterday. Picture: Peter Stoop

KNIGHTS recruit Mitchell Frei has arrived in Newcastle for the chance to develop his game under master coach Wayne Bennett.

Frei has joined the Knights from the Brisbane Broncos, signing a one-year contract with Newcastle’s NRL club with an option for another season in 2014.
The hard-hitting 20-year-old has spent the past two seasons in the Broncos’ National Youth Cup team.
He signed a second-tier deal with the Knights to play NSW Cup and hopes to make Bennett’s NRL squad.
Frei believes signing with the Knights is a great opportunity.
‘‘There wasn’t the same opportunity up there as I have down here, so it was time to move on, and Wayne gave me a great opportunity,’’ Frei told the Newcastle Herald yesterday.
‘‘Wayne was at the Broncos when I first got there.
‘‘I didn’t train with him or anything. I’d see him around and he’d say ‘g’day’ and important things like that, but I’m really looking forward to being coached by him full-time.’’
Frei began getting to know his new teammates at the club’s fitness testing at the University of Newcastle yesterday and said he was looking forward to 2013.
‘‘Training was good. They are a great bunch of blokes, they’ve made me feel welcome and I’m looking forward to getting into it.’’
Bennett is confident Frei will strengthen the squad.
‘‘Mitchell adds depth to the young front-rowers we are establishing at the Knights, which we identified as an area we needed to strengthen going forward,’’ Bennett told the Knights website.

The front-rower, who is also a goal-kicker and plays golf off single figures, had a stellar season last year, representing the Maroons under 20s.
Frei will not be the only new face to wear the red and blue in 2013.
He has joined Beau Scott, Jeremy Smith, Toka Likiliki and David Fa’alogo as new signings, and former Knights winger Anthony Quinn is also close to agreeing to terms. 


I saw him play a heap of '20s games. Definitely stood out among the pack. I think he played both at prop and second-row (I seem to remember him being mostly in the back row when playing). Word is he's very level-headed and mature beyond his years. One of our best prospects so it was unfortunate to see him go. 


Could be another star goooooooooooooooooooone from the Buckings. Heard same reports about his maturity and he is a professional already with his approach to all things footy.

Dont be suprised if SK passed on the info to Bennett thinking he was helping him whoooooops shit says SK i am supposed to be helping the Broncos. 


[h=1]Roberts' earns Round 1 spot[/h]

Sunday 17 February 2013 3:02 PM
Following the Newcastle Knights’ first trial match in Coffs Harbour, coach Wayne Bennett confirmed Tyrone Roberts has played himself into the team for the Round 1 season opener at Hunter Stadium.
“We’ll find a place for him in the 17; he is just too valuable not to have there somewhere, that ability he’s got,” Bennett said after the game.
“He did a great job there in the game and you can tick him off.”
Roberts, who filled in for injured captain Kurt Gidley last season, played the second half of the trial match and not only scored two tries but was given the captaincy.
The 21-year old was instrumental in both tries; the first one was from his own grubber kick he scooped up after the Rabbitohs turned it over. The second try, in the final minutes of the game, he broke through the defence, handed it off to Korbin Sims before getting it back to dive over for a double.
With Gidley’s return from injury, Roberts has trained hard during the pre-season to give himself every opportunity to play NRL in 2013.
“I was just thinking train hard, do all the little things right, and be in contention for the first round,” Roberts said.
“I have been working well with the boys; they are listening to me at training and everyone is on board.
“They know I am here to do a job and they have got confidence in me to do the job as well, so it’s good.
“I put on four kilos… It’s a boost for my confidence in defence as well.”
The Knights next play the Cronulla Sharks in Tamworth for their second and final trial match. 


Excellent. I liked Tyrone Roberts' game last year. Excellent to see that Bennett is giving him a shot in first grade. 


I agree, he stood up last year and gave his best, from what I've heard he has a great attitude and trains the house down, very promising for the club moving forward, love watching these keen young guys, if Tyrone continues with the correct attitude, under Bennett he could cement the 7 jersey by 2014.....good luck to him. 


[h=1]Forward pack stood up says Smith[/h]

Monday 18 February 2013 4:13 PM
New recruit Jeremy Smith was pleased with the team performance in Saturday's night trial match win over South Sydney Rabbitohs in Coffs Harbour.
“The pre-season has been pretty tough so it felt good to get out there tonight,” he said.
“I thought we defended well considering they had a lot of ball on our try line.
“They had back-to-back sets but we managed to hold them out.”
Smith said after seeing his team’s performance during their 18-6 win over the Rabbitohs, he is happy with where the team are at heading in the season.
“Everyone played fairly well and I think the forward pack really stood up and set an example,” Smith said.
“I thought Aku (Uate) was one of our highlights and I have been looking forward to playing with him since I arrived in Newcastle.
“It was a good performance by the boys.”
The Knights will travel to Tamworth on Tuesday ahead of their second pre-season trial against the Cronulla Sharks on Saturday.
“We have enjoyed our time in Coffs Harbour and getting out and meeting some of the locals,” the forward added.
“We need to work on cutting down the penalties and also our good ball.
“Hopefully I can inspire the boys somehow and continue to bring some aggression to the team.” 


[INDENT] Andrew Johns' crown remains intact as Johnathan Thurston struggles on Immortal's turf
Nick Walshaw
The Daily Telegraph
March 26, 2013 12:00AM
Johnathan Thurston leaves the ground after the demoralising loss. Source: Getty Images

ANDREW Johns may just drop big brother a text today.

Remind him, as siblings so close often will, that his tenure as the greatest playmaker of all time ... well, it remains intact and will take some beating.

It's hard to believe less than a fortnight has passed since Matthew Johns, one of league's sharpest minds, used his Daily Telegraph column to start the mother of all bar-room debates, suggesting that little brother's crown is headed to Johnathan Thurston.

Yep, he of the Cowboys, Queensland and Kangaroos dominance. A fella enjoying such a rare run of brilliance right now, even his laugh is available as a ring tone.

So last night as Thurston ran onto Hunter Stadium, into the shadows of no less than the Andrew Johns Grandstand, it was always an easy argument to throw oneself into.

Because, sure, you should never step into a fight between brothers. But on a night like this, how could we resist?

And, sure, 80 minutes later we'd just witnessed the worst performance by a group of cowboys since Will Smith produced Wild, Wild West. So bad a shattered Thurston labelled his side "pretenders".

Having completed their first seven sets, the visitors then held the Steeden for only four of the next 11, eventually finishing with 69 per cent and a long trip home to Townsville.

"It was ... I don't know what to say," Thurston said. Then, taking a few moments to find required word, he spat: "It was embarrassing". But isn't this the rub?

Supporters of Joey arguing that, for his crown to be dislodged, Thurston must lead these Cowboys to the title that, right now, seems further away than grand final day itself.

"So the 'Joey versus JT' debate, it's not going away," said Ben Ikin, having overseen proceedings with Fox Sports. "It's a wonderful argument because they're both such similar players. I mean, JT probably edges Andrew Johns when it comes to sheer commitment, always turning up on the last play.

"But Joey, he's the best I played with or against. He had the gift. I've never seen a bloke count numbers like him ... incredible when you consider he probably flunked maths at primary school."

From: [/INDENT] 


[h=2]Freedom beckons for Wicks[/h] [INDENT]

Danny Wicks is released on Good Friday! He's done his 18 months in prison, but still has another 18 months on his playing ban ... and is very unlikely to play in the NRL again. [/INDENT] 


The NRL can do without scumbags like Danny Wicks. 


it is quite simple for Thurston... he has to win a couple premierships with the Cowboys... he has a title with the Dogs but he only played 7-8 games that season and came off the bench in the GF... he has everything else that distinguishes greatness - unparalleled team success at Origin level, individual honours, Test success etc.

but the greats (Sterling, Mortimer, Langer, Stuart, Johns) won multiple premierships and for Thurston to reach the zenith for playmakers, he has to win a couple premierships 


isn't the criteria different in QLD where SOO > premierships ;) 


Whats the latest on Gidley? How long ls he out for? 


Possibly back Rd 5 against the Dragons, likely to be 14 off the bench. 


Why would that be Marcus......Brisbane have 6 premierships compared to lets say

uhmmm, St Merge's one.

GF's are still high on the agenda up here......mate.

besides which, it was a criteria set up in one of the NSW rags

so really......your little taunt/troll fails on several levels. ;) 


Thanks :) 


[INDENT] EXCLUSIVE: Former NRL star Danny Wicks has been released from jail and opens up on life behind bars
Phil Rothfield
The Daily Telegraph
March 29, 2013 3:47PM
Former NRL star Danny Wicks at the beach in Yamba on his first day of freedom after spending 18 months in jail after being convicted of drug trafficking. Picture: Nathan Edwards Source: The Daily Telegraph

PRISONER number 467935 walks out of Glen Innes jail to begin rebuilding a life shattered by drugs.

This is not any old jailbird. It is former NRL star Danny Wicks, the convicted drug dealer who has spent the past 18 months behind bars.

Once a rampaging front-row forward who packed down at the Knights and the Dragons, Wicks, now 27-years-old, has spent the past year-and-a-half working as a forklift driver at the prison timber mill.

He earned $250,000-a-year while playing with Newcastle. Inside, he earned a maximum of $55 per week.

As Wicks walked to freedom yesterday, it was hard to recognise the man who was once a cult figure in the game.

He is almost 20kg lighter and looks nothing like the 128kg monster who played 69 first grade games between 2006 and 2009.

Wicks left Glen Innes jail right on 8.30am, slapped his dad Gary on the leg, and screamed: "I'm free."

Making an NRL comeback was the last thing on his mind.


Wicks pleaded guilty in 2011 to three drug trafficking charges involving 150 ecstasy tablets and more than 20 grams of methylamphetamine. In passing down his sentence, Newcastle District Court judge Helen Syme said Wicks was "one of many" members of a joint criminal enterprise.

Wicks entered prison in the same week as the 2011 grand final. He described a typical day in prison as like "Groundhog Day".

"The first siren, which I won't miss, goes off at 6am then another one at 6.30. Another one at 6.40, 6.45, 6.55 and 7.00. It's ridiculous.

"You make breakfast from the rations they supply. You get your litre of milk every couple of days and they supply toast and butter.

"You're out by seven, straight to work. You can take food for the smoko break then you finish at 2pm."

From there he worked on his fitness, seven afternoons a week.

One of his new mates inside was an old gym instructor and an expert on dieting.

"It's no resort but there's a field to run on, a hill and some equipment," Wicks said,

The food was so bad he spent most of his weekly wage on fresh meat.

"They supply dinner but it's absolute rubbish," he said. "It's shocking. I don't know how some blokes survive on it.

"There's no nutritional value in any of it. I earned anything from $10 to $55 a week for 38 hours. I just spent the money on getting decent food and cigarettes, until I gave them up four months ago."

At 6pm the inmates were locked into their units. Wicks shared a dormitory with between eight to 12 other inmates.

They had a common area, a toilet, a shower and a small enclosed area for a bed. He had his own $300 for a 12 inch television.


He spent his first few weeks at Cessnock jail after being sentenced to three years, with an 18-month no-parole period.

"Most of them knew who I was," he says. "You don't want to have profile when you're in there but you've got it.

"At the end of the day you just stand out. At the end of the day, they were mostly a good bunch of lads who had made mistakes like I did.

"I never felt threatened or in danger or anything like that."


Wicks' release from prison comes at a time when the NRL and other Australian sporting codes are dealing with wide-ranging investigations into drug use and organised crime by ASADA and the Australian Crime Commission.

Wicks, however, has not been keeping up with the latest events in league. He has not watched a game in four years.

"I guess my head's in the sand," he said. "You try not to think about what you have blown. I couldn't cop watching it so I stopped."

The whole episode has cost Wicks more than $1 million.

That's four years of football earnings plus his legal costs. His father Gary, a respected and reasonably wealthy businessman, has helped help him through.

At this stage, Wicks harbours no ambition to return to the game, even though his four-year drug suspension expires at the end of next season.

"To be honest I really haven't given (playing again) that much thought," he said.

"My focus was getting through my sentence and getting back home.

"I'm fitter now than I've ever been because I trained hard every day while inside. It kept me focused and helped me get through the days.

"But I'm certainly not about to put up my hand and say I want to play again. There are so many more important things awaiting me like catching up with my family and friends, getting a job and kick-starting my life.

"If I eventually decide I want to have a crack then so be it but it's really not high on my agenda at the moment. We'll just see what happens."


Wicks hopes his story can serve as a cautionary tale for children and teenagers about the dangers of drugs.

"You don't have to play football to be a mentor," he said. "What I've had and what I've got now is enough to tell kids to think twice.

"Everybody makes mistakes but it's the smarter people that learn from them.

"My mistakes cost me 18 months inside, a career, a lot of money, a relationship with my girlfriend.

"But I'm starting fresh and I'm very excited about it.

"I'm not too old and I'm not too young for challenges that lie ahead."

He has obvious regrets but refuses to dwell on them.

"There are not too many people who can sit there and say they didn't make any mistakes in their 20s," Wicks said,

"Everyone makes mistakes, some are just more costly than others.

"I made a big one. I've paid my dues. I've done my 18 months. It's time to move on.

"But If any community group asked me to get involved in a program for teenagers, I'd do it."


Family and friends have been absolutely crucial in assisting Wicks deal with his incarceration.

"My mum and dad have been phenomenal," he said. "It was hard for me being in there, but harder on my family. There were times they struggled a bit like any parent with a son in jail but they couldn't have been more supportive."

Then there was his mate Dave, an old Digger who served in Timor and Iraq. "Dave comes from Brisbane but drove down every second week to see me without fail," he said.

"It was a 12-hour round trip for him. Great people like him get you through. There have been a few messages from my old team mates but I did what I did and it had nothing to do with them."


First stop yesterday was his grandfather's house in Grafton for a cup of tea and chat. It's been a long time.

I later caught up with Wicks' at the family beach house in Yamba for this interview.

"It's the best day of my life," Wicks said. "There are no immediate plans. "I'm just glad to be free."
Danny Wicks playing for the Knights in 2009. Picture: Liam Driver
Danny Wicks with his mother Sandra and father Gary on his first day of freedom after spending 18 months in jail. Picture: Nathan Edwards
Danny Wicks playing for the Grafton Ghosts in 2010. Picture: Gregg Porteous
Former NRL star Danny Wicks at Yamba on his first day of freedom. Picture: Nathan Edwards

From: [/INDENT] 

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