Following the signing of Huddersfield Giants utility Joe Wardle on a three-year deal and the release of fullback Jake Mamo to the Giants, coach Nathan Brown addressed the media on Tuesday morning.
Describing Wardle as a versatile player, the 25-year-old was keen to come to the Knights a year earlier than originally agreed.
“Joe is a robust type of centre that can also play back row. He’s more that sort of player than a centre that plays wing or fullback,” Brown said.
Wardle’s ability to play in both the forwards and backs attracted Brown, who also coached the new recruit several years ago in the Super League.
“He certainly gives our squad a lot more balance, and is in the same type of mould as Sione Mata’utia,” Brown added.
“I coached Joe for a number of years and I’ve followed his career since then.”
Regarding Mamo’s move in the other direction, Brown said it would benefit the 22-year-old’s game.
“Jake can get a lot of experience playing in the Super League and who knows what may happen for him down the track,” Brown explained.
“It certainly allows him to play the position that he wants to play, and he loves travelling.
“It’s not only a football thing for Jake, it’s a good lifestyle opportunity as well.”
Brown also intimated that he believes Mamo will be capable of returning to the NRL in the future as a more experienced fullback, and that plenty of players have benefited from making a move away from home.
“It’s just about gaining that experience at fullback,” he said.
“Fullback is the toughest position in the NRL and this competition can be quite unforgiving when you’re learning.
“Definitely the best course for Jake to become a long-term fullback is to go over to the Super League.”