Fien not keen on Knights 'Dragonisation' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Fien not keen on Knights 'Dragonisation'

By Joe Barton 23/05/2011 06:37:12 PM Comments (0)

St George Illawarra hooker Nathan Fien has distanced himself from speculation he could follow Wayne Bennett up to Newcastle next season and further the `Dragon-isation' of the Knights.

Having already secured the services of the NRL supercoach for 2011 and beyond, and with former Bennett disciples Neville Costigan and Beau Henry on their books, the Knights are believed to be eyeing off more members of the premiership-winning squad.

Fien is not off-contract until the end of 2012 but the New Zealand international admitted on Monday he had heard rumours linking him to the Knights.

"I got asked that the other day," he told reporters.

"At this stage I'm on contract here at the Dragons, I'm not looking at what's happening down the track.

"... I haven't really given it any thought to tell you the truth.

"Obviously Wayne's headed there next year, that's about as far as it's gone with me.

"I wanted to play under Wayne for a long time and I got the opportunity when he plucked me from the Warriors a couple of years ago and I've loved every minute of it.

"I come to training like a little kid trying to learn as much as I can every day and that's not just me that's everyone in the whole entire squad so I really enjoyed being coached by Wayne and it's not really an issue for me at this stage."

Speculation linking Fien with a move north gathered pace after it was revealed current hooker Isaac de Gois was one of several Knights told they were free to look elsewhere at the end of this season as part of a Bennett-encouraged cleanout.

The 26-year-old has been strongly linked with his former club, Cronulla, who have money to spend after losing representative props Kade Snowden (Newcastle) and Luke Douglas (Gold Coast).

Complicating the push for Fien is the possible return of former Knights skipper Danny Buderus, who is considering an NRL swansong after two years with Leeds in Super League.

Joining Costigan and Henry in Newcastle in 2012 is expected to be Clive Churchill medal winner Darius Boyd, who has a close bond with Bennett - while underrated Dragons prop Jon Green is also on his radar.

The journey from the Dragons to Newcastle had become a well-worn path even before Bennett's decision - with the Knights having poached Chris Houston, Keith Lulia, Danny Wicks, Ben Rogers and Wes Naiqama from the joint venture since 2007.

Fien, who is hopeful of returning from a hamstring injury that has kept him sidelined for the past two matches, said recovering from injury was his main focus at this stage.

"I'm just trying to get my hamstring right at the moment, I just want to be on the field out there with the boys again, it's very hard watching," he added.

"That's where my focus is at this stage and not all the innuendo or what happens behind the scenes in rugby league."

Fien's manager, Jim Banaghan, said he had had no contact with Newcastle regarding Fien's future, and said the crafty rake would definitely be at the Dragons next season.

"I don't know where this is coming from," he said.

"Unless something's changed than the one he's signed, he's definitely on contract (at the Dragons in 2012)."

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