Newcastle coach Rick Stone believes new signing Neville Costigan can have a big impact at the club in 2011.
The 25-year-old joined the Knights from St George during the close season after helping the Dragons to victory in the 2010 NRL Grand Final.
Stone said the former Brisbane and Canberra forward would be a key member of the Knights pack this season.
“He’s going to bring a real steely edge to our pack that will definitely make us a more formidable unit, there’s no doubt about that,” he told the Newcastle Herald.
“The depth and flexibility in our forward pack is as good as it’s been since I’ve been here, so it’s going to be competitive for spots.
“So where we play Nev and who we play alongside him, we’ll wait and see how that pans out. But it’s fair to say he’ll be there somewhere, not just on what he’s been doing at training but what he has done in the past.”
Costigan has represented Queensland and Papua New Guinea and the Knights boss feels that experience could benefit the club’s younger players.
“Obviously he has played in a very strong club at the Dragons, but also he’s been a regular member of that Queensland team,” said stone.
“He’s already had an impact on some of our younger forwards, especially in attack, because he’s talked to them about patience and knowing your role and doing your job rather than trying to play too pretty.”