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Past Knights who would have loved the NRL Nines

Following the recent rumoured reports of Kurt Gidley's return to the nib Newcastle Knights through the Nines NRL tournament, there's no better time to look back through the archives of other former players who would have shined in the shortened format.

Here’s a list of some former Knights think would have been brilliant in the competition had it existed back in their day.


Kurt Gidley

We’ll start with the guy many Knights fans have been talking about after rumours broke that he might potentially make a return in the red and blue after over four years away.

‘Gids’ was often praised for his toughness and fortitude in both attack and defence whether he was making a break through the defensive lines with the ball, or pulling off a try-saver on guys much bigger than him.

One quality of his game that wasn’t as well-documented was his incredible vision on the field – a strength that would be extremely useful in the Nines given the vacant space on the field.

Robbie O’Davis

He's one of the more electrifying fullbacks the club has seen.

'Robbie O’Save-Us' not only had speed to burn but had a great knack for being able to pop up at the perfect moment to seal a try or even stop them as well.

We can only imagine the damage he would have caused surging from the back if he had gotten the chance to play in the Nines.

Timana Tahu

A winger who could do it all.

While Tahu was rapid and knew how to finish a try, his strength was also an integral part to his game and something that’d be extremely useful attempting to shrug off one-on-one tackles.

You’d have to think that the former premiership winner would also be a target for cross field kicks and cheeky chip-and-chases, and his post-try celebration – the slam dunk – would be perfect for the Nines entertainment.


Ben Kennedy

Although the 9v9 format is usually filled with speedy backs and edge back-rowers, we can’t help but think that ‘BK’ would have thrived in the environment.

He wasn’t known for his speed but could explode off the mark, especially close to the try-line, and knew how to wrap up attackers and limit space.

His offloading skill would also come in handy which would have benefitted those faster players around him.

Ash Gordon

When your nickname is ‘The Flash’, you just know you’re suited for the Nines.

Gordon is arguably one of the quickest players in Knights history and with so much space on the Nines field, it would be almost impossible to keep the man down.

With a try scoring instinct like Flash’s, how could you possibly leave him out of your team.

Willie Mason

A huge guy with a huge personality, Big Willie would have been fantastic to watch.

He’s proved his skill in the Nines already whilst playing in the Legends of League tournament over the past years, winning with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs on two occasions.

His barrelling runs would prove not too dissimilar to a cannon ball smashing through glass and he’d surely need multiple defenders to bring him down each time – a luxury teams can’t afford when playing in the Nines.

Darren Albert

In 230 career games, Albert managed to score 165 tries. That stat alone should explain his selection in this list.

The 1997 Grand Final hero knew how to turn half-chances into points with his thrilling acceleration plus, he was also a smart defender, picking his moments when to tackle.

Good outside backs often win games in the Nines, and Albert proved that consistently in his time at the Knights.


Andrew Johns

Last but certainly not least; the eight Immortal would have caused carnage in the shortened version of rugby league.

His kicks, his passes, his running game – you name it, his skills would have been a nightmare, maybe even impossible, to contain with less defenders on the field.

It’s a shame the Nines weren’t introduced before Joey entered retirement because Knights fans would've been in for a real treat.