Rookie Report: 80 minute No.9 and versatile backs stepping up

We always have an eye on the future.

Each week the nib Newcastle Knights will identify the best performers from the Canterbury Cup and Jersey Flegg competitions so the supporters can get a feel for who is consistently performing in the lower grades.

These are the players to keep an eye out for as they climb the ranks or knock on the door for a future NRL debut.

ZAC WOOLFORD

The No.9 made 51 tackles in the 12-8 Canterbury Cup loss to the Bulldogs last week.

“He and Chris Randall had huge workloads,” coach Rory Kostjasyn said.

“The most of any game this year.”

The 22-year-old played 80 minutes, the first full game performance for several weeks.

“It was the first time in a while,” Kostjasyn said.

TEX HOY

Backing up from the under 20s State of Origin last Wednesday, the livewire impressed in a new position.

Usually a fullback, Hoy can cover almost any role in the backline and halves but on the weekend, he slotted into the centres.

“He’s super quick with his feet,” Kostjasyn said.

“He’s a dangerous ball runner. We played him in the centres this week to look after him volume wise with a bit less running in centre than fullback but he had huge numbers still. He’s always a threat with the footy and played tough only two days backing up after Origin.”

CHRIS RANDALL

“He’s definitely a nine but at the moment he has to do that job for the team and he’s doing a good job with very little experience in that position,” said Kostjasyn.

Recently rewarded with a development deal, the hooker turned five-eighth was busy on the weekend.

He made four tackle breaks and kept prodding the defence, not afraid to get hit at the line in an effort to try and put one of his big men over.