Knights hit hard with loss of Johns - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Knights hit hard with loss of Johns

By Darren Walton 29/04/2003 07:19:27 PM Comments (0)

Test hooker Danny Buderus will fill the biggest shoes in the National Rugby League on Saturday after Newcastle captain Andrew Johns accepted a two-match suspension for head-slamming.

With the Knights in the midst of an injury crisis, Buderus willingly put his team ahead of his personal representative ambitions and asked to play halfback against Melbourne at Olympic Park.

Newcastle coach Michael Hagan named an 18-man, with the loss of Johns, fullback Robbie O'Davis (face) and young forward Adam Woolnough (neck) from the Knights' costly win over Wests Tigers at the weekend forcing mass changes.

In a reshuffled backline, former State of Origin fullback Mark Hughes is the new custodian, rookie Craig Hall moves from the flank to his favoured centre position and Gavin Quinn will make his debut on the wing.

Luke Quigley is the new hooker, prop Matt Parsons assumes the captaincy and Clint Newton, who successfully returned from injury in Premier League last week, will take Woolnough's place in the pack.

"Life's never dull in this industry. The events of last weekend have meant we've had to arrange the football team to a fair degree," Hagan said.

The depleted Knights, who have already used six newcomers in 2003, also have Ben Kennedy (sternum), Steve Simpson (groin), Kurt Gidley (ankle), Anthony Quinn (cheek) and Adam MacDougall (knee) unavailable through injury.

"But that's just the hand we've been dealt at the moment and the players have taken a really good attitude in the last couple of weeks," Hagan said.

"This week will be no different and they'll work hard and we'll get the job done."

Buderus played his junior football at halfback and said he was looking forward to the new role.

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