Newcastle Knights’ new recruit Trent Hodkinson arrived in Newcastle on Thursday morning excited to embrace a fresh start in the red and blue.
The NSW Origin halfback joined the squad at Newcastle Basketball Stadium for the first official day of pre-season, held indoors due to wet weather.
“It’s good to be here finally,” he told the media in his first appearance since arriving at the Club.
“I can’t do a whole lot at the moment, but it’s good to get in the swing of things and get amongst the boys."
The 27-year-old was unable to take part in the team’s beep test due to a broken wrist however his recovery is on track after having pins removed on Tuesday.
“I have this brace on for the next four weeks, but the surgeon was very happy with the outcome, so I just have to take it slowly and be off my legs for a little bit,” he explained.
“It’s looking good and the surgeon will give me the run down on the next couple of weeks and when I can get back, but I don’t think it will be too long away.”
Hodkinson made an early commute from Sydney on Thursday morning, but is due to settle permanently in Newcastle next week.
“It’s a little bit different but exciting at the same time. It’s a new challenge and a new beginning and is out of your comfort zone a little bit,” he said about settling into a new team and town.
“There’s exciting times ahead, I’m looking forward to it.”
Hodkinson, who has had impressive personal success as a member of the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs over the past five seasons, believes his best football is yet to come and hopes to develop and mature further as a leader within the Knights squad.
“A reason I chose the Knights is there’s a challenge ahead and I thought the playing group was right up there with the best,” he said.
“I was involved with Browny (coach Nathan Brown) during the Origin period and loved what he had to say about me improving as a player and what structures would suit me.
“I’m quite laid-back and fairly calm on the field, so hopefully I can bring that up here to the Knights and just take control.
“I’m looking forward to striking combinations with players. They have a lot of young talent and some older guys who are leaders.”
Further to that, the opportunity to play alongside five-eighth Jarrod Mullen in the halves was a draw card and a partnership Hodkinson sees great potential in.
“He was a big reason as well why I chose Newcastle, the opportunity to play alongside Jarrod,” Hodkinson said.
“We’re looking to form and strike that combination and take that pressure off him and let him do his thing.
“No doubt we’ll work on that throughout the pre-season, we have plenty of time.
“It’s a new start and a new beginning. It’s exciting.”
Young halves combination Jack Cogger and Brock Lamb completed the beep test one and two, with Robbie Rochow rounding out the top three.
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