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Brown toying with Ponga five-eighth switch

Nathan Brown is considering move Kalyn Ponga into the halves this weekend.

The nib Newcastle Knight has struggled to train with the team in recent weeks as he manages an ankle injury and his coach believes a positional switch might help his fitness.

Ponga trained in the halves on Wednesday with Nick Meaney at fullback and Brown admits he's considering his options ahead of the clash with Penrith on Saturday afternoon.


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"We're having a bit of a look at it," Brown said of moving Ponga.

"He hasn't trained for a long period with his hamstring and then his ankle. We're probably looking to try and limit his running, that'd be the truth of it.

"Nick's playing very well, so we'll have a look at it today and see where it takes us.

"We've got Cogs (Jack Cogger) on hand should we want to leave KP at fullback but it's certainly something we need to look at it.

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"KP hasn't run very much so his fitness levels are dipping a little bit and his attacking influence on the team might improve if he plays at six in the short term."

The 20-year-old attacks similar to a five-eighth, so the move would be a relatively smooth transition to make.

"It's more he hasn't trained," Brown said.

"... I think he's done one proper training session in seven weeks.

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"He's only a young kid still, while he's a very, very good player his fitness levels and his fitness bases is going to improve a lot more, the more he matures and the more he trains and the more he plays.

"He hasn't done a lot of running and fullback requires more kilometres than anywhere.

"He'll run a lot less and he and Mitchell can still work together."

Should Ponga move into the halves, that would open the door for Meaney to claim the No.1.

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Meaney has played two NRL games this season and won on both occasions but more impressive to the coach is the progress the custodian has made in his game in recent weeks.

"Nick's played in two games, we won both, from his first game to his second game he improved a lot then he was very, very good in reserve grade on the weekend.

"Nick's in good form. If we do go that way, we know Nick will do a good job.

"If KP's up for the running and his body is in shape, we know Cogs will do a good job as well."