Posted: 16 September, 2016 by AAP

Hodkinson Backs Mullen's NRL Hooker Move

Trent Hodkinson backs Nathan Brown's move to shift Jarrod Mullen

Tags: Newcastle Knights, Jarrod Mullen

Newcastle star Trent Hodkinson has backed coach Nathan Brown's move to shift Jarrod Mullen to hooker for next year.

Mullen excelled when thrust into the dummy-half role from the halves for the first time in the Knights' controversial final NRL round loss to St George Illawarra.

Former first grade rake Brown said he had wanted to experiment with Mullen at hooker for much of the season, but injury had prevented that.

As Brown looks to find a way forward after the Knights struggled to their worst season ever this year, Mullen's potential Peter Wallace-type move to hooker looms as a key move.

"Jarrod had a great game out of hooker in that final game, he showed he can fit in there," Hodkinson told AAP.

"He has always had a great kicking game and good hands that could suit that role and he showed that in that final game."

"If that is the way Browny goes next year I am sure Mullo will take the opportunity with both hands.

Newcastle has struggled for consistency in the hooking role since club legend Danny Buderus left at the end of 2013.

Long-term five-eighth Mullen's potential move to No.9 could be made all the more easier by the emergence of young playmakers Brock Lamb and Jack Cogger at the Knights.

"They have massive futures those two young guys," Hodkinson said.

"They came in and they really gave it a good crack this year. It is going to be exciting to see how they go."

Former NSW halfback Hodkinson has two years to run on a three-year deal after joining the Knights this season.

He said the emergence of the Saifiti brothers Daniel and Jacob, who was nominated for rookie of the year at the Rugby League Players' Association awards, Nathan Ross and the development of Sione Mata'utia in the back-row were all positives for the Knights ahead of season 2017.

"For them all to get a taste of first grade for the future is a great thing." Hodkinson said.

Wallace has been key in the Penrith's charge to Saturday's semi-final against Canberra after making a move from his long-term halves role to hooker earlier this season.

Tags: Newcastle Knights, Jarrod Mullen

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