Mine coach's say: Round 20
nib Newcastle Knights coach Nathan Brown has welcomed the three-year signing of Tautau Moga to the Club next year.
Brown has no doubts the 23-year-old, who has played 49 NRL matches, will be a valuable inclusion to boost the side.
“It is a pleasing signing for the Club,” said Brown.
“He is currently holding a position with a top four side and he’s a player that still has a lot of improvement in him, due to the lack of football he’s played, but I feel really confident we have a really good signing.”
The Knights coach admits it’s been no secret that the Club has been seeking big outside backs to add to its roster.
“Tautau is a big guy and due to his injuries, he hasn’t played a lot of footy but we’ve seen this year he’s played consistent footy,” explained Brown.
“He has been a handful for us and a handful for other sides and he comes from a good club.
“All our signings have come from clubs in the top four, so they’re certainly going to make our team a lot better.”
Another big outside back that has just arrived is Shaun Kenny-Dowall, who has been named to make his debut in the red and blue against his former club, the Sydney Roosters.
“All indications are he would certainly play,” stated Brown.
“Shaun is an experienced player, international, grand final winner, and World Cup winner.
“He knows his way around the field and whilst he hasn’t played, he’s been here with us for a fair period of time now and he’ll know how to get through the game.
“If all people are healthy, expect Shaun to play on the right side with Gags (Dane Gagai) at this stage.”
Brown acknowledged Kenny-Dowall is well respected at the Roosters.
“He had a great career there and while the circumstances he left under were a little different, I know he left on great terms with all the staff, all the players and the board all love him,” he said.
“He has come from a Club where they were full of internationals and Origin players in a top four side and has come to a club where there’s a lot of younger players who are learning their way and learning how to play first grade.
“Shaun knows the importance of his role at our Club.”
The Knights coach admitted the possible signing of the Roosters’ Connor Watson is a work in progress.
“It is well documented we have spoken with Connor and he’s a player that we feel can certainly help our squad and again he’s consistently making a top four team,” added Brown.
“He’s certainly a player that if the Roosters want to let him go, we’d certainly be interested in him.”
Meanwhile Brown said Knights forward Sam Mataora is indefinitely sidelined due to personal reasons.
“Footy is not something he has a great desire to do any more,” Brown said.
“If you don’t want to play, you shouldn’t play. Sammy has been through a few difficult times. He said his life away from here is happy, which is the main thing.”