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Knights building to NRL title: Packer

Controversial Newcastle NRL signing Russell Packer says he is confident of winning a premiership at the Knights under supercoach Wayne Bennett in the next few years.
Knights building to NRL title: Packer
by AAP

SYDNEY, Nov 5 AAP - Controversial Newcastle NRL signing Russell Packer says he is confident of winning a premiership at the Knights under supercoach Wayne Bennett in the next few years.

Former Warriors prop Packer, who gained widespread notoriety when he urinated on the field at the start of a match against Brisbane in June, joined the Knights on a four-year deal beginning in 2014 and said his desire for a change of environment prompted the move.

Newcastle were the surprise packets of the finals this year, enjoying back-to-back upset wins over Canterbury and Melbourne before being thumped 40-14 by eventual premiers the Sydney Roosters in their preliminary final.

And the 24-year-old Packer, nicknamed 'Package', believes the club will build on that effort in years to come.

"It's a good opportunity for myself to come over here and to get out of my comfort zone," Packer told the Knights' website.

"I've been at my old club since I was 17. It was about time to move on and try something new.

"We're all here trying to get a premiership.

"It'd be pretty good if we could achieve that in the next few years."

The 112kg, 188cm Packer played two Tests for New Zealand in 2011 but his career had stalled somewhat since.

He will be looking to follow in the footsteps of fellow NRL badboys Willie Mason and Joey Leilua who have turned their careers around under Bennett at Newcastle.

Packer said he is looking forward to proving himself at the Knights who start pre-season training next week.

"Mentally, I'm ready. I don't know about physically. I'll give it a go, rip in and see how I look next year," he said.

The Warriors were hit with a $15,000 fine by the NRL for the June incident at Suncorp Stadium, for which Packer, a veteran of 108 first-grade games for the Warriors since 2008, later apologised.


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