Brian Smith re-signs with Knights - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Brian Smith re-signs with Knights

16/02/2009 07:49:11 PM Comments (0)

Newcastle's imminent re-signing of coach Brian Smith was tempered somewhat on Monday by news winger Cooper Vuna could be sidelined until April.

Scans confirmed a grade two medial ligament strain for the Auckland-born Vuna after he was stretchered from the field during Saturday night's series of trial matches against local club sides.

The injury is likely to sideline Vuna for four-six weeks, meaning a return to the NRL is not expected before round four at the earliest.

Smith looks like being around a lot longer though with the Knights announcing on Monday they had reached an agreement with the veteran coach until at least the end of the 2010 season.

The deal, which has yet to be finalised, includes performance triggers which could see his tenure further extended.

The exact nature of the triggers have not been disclosed.

"The club is very happy with the progress to date under Brian's tenure," Knights chief executive Steve Burraston said.

"We're pleased to have been able to secure Brian's services for at least another year and hopefully more."

A contract extension looked anything but likely during Smith's first year at Knights in 2007, as he oversaw a dramatic cleanout of the club's playing ranks.

Results suffered following the dramatic early season retirement of club great Andrew Johns, and Smith soon became the focal point of fans frustrations as he showed the door to the likes of local junior Clint Newton.

A messy contract wrangle involving Kirk Reynoldson, where Smith refused to select the fit backrower because it would have triggered a clause giving Reynoldson another year at the club, and it seemed Smith wouldn't even make it to a second season with the Knights.

But through it all Smith persevered, and last year the wins finally followed with the Knights missing a finals berth by just two points.

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