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Brown on Mann: ‘He’ll be in our 17 somewhere’

Nathan Brown is confident he can transform utility Kurt Mann into a hooker.

The new nib Newcastle Knights recruit signed a three-year-deal with the Club this week and joined the team for training on Tuesday.

He spent the session training with the hookers.

It was the first step in his journey going from 'Mr Fix It' to No.9.

With Slade Griffin recovering from an ACL injury, Brown said Mann's arrival is a huge boost for the team.



Knights sign versatile utility

"We see Kurt as someone who can help fill some hooker void, obviously with the situation with Slade," Brown said.

"He's started games in the NRL at fullback, winger, centre, five-eighth, he's played lock. He can play a lot of positions so he's a player that makes everyone's 17.

"If he becomes an okay hooker, he's a sensational utility player."

Rory Kostjasyn was brought to the Club in 2017 as an experienced hooking option for Brown before a freak accident at training force the 31-year-old into retirement.

Since then, Kostjasyn has taken up a coaching role at the Club and will be working with Mann to help him develop as a dummy-half.

Brown also said Mann will be in his side regardless of whether he becomes a hooker option.

"Best case is that he puts a lot of time into his game and works with Rory (Kostjasyn) and improves his dummy-half game and gets to a level he's a good comp and NRL player," Brown explained.

"Worst case, he's in our 17.

"He's a hard-working kid, so we're quietly confident he'll turn out okay."

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Having played fullback and in the halves before, Brown believes those ball playing skills he has already developed will help him transition into the hooker role.

"The basic art of passing the ball and knowing how to bring people onto the ball I suppose is reasonably natural to him," Brown said.

"With lots of repetition and lots of practice, you know they generally get it."

Brown said Mann is a work in progress.

Due to Mann's versatility, the coaching staff will spend the pre-season developing him into a hooker.

"He sort of missed the first six weeks here at the club," Brown added.

"We'll put a lot of time into him where we'll just let him work as a dummy-half and see how it unfolds."

Whether Mann plays hooker or another position is irrelevant at this stage.

Brown believes the 25-year-old is a quality addition to this Knights squad and confirmed he expects him to feature in his team.

"Kurt will work hard and you know he's going to be in your 17 somewhere," Brown added.

"So, from a recruitment point of view he will help our squad get better and we've brought someone to the club who we know will be playing for us."