KNIGHTS recruit Beau Scott said the familiar faces of former teammates and coaches had made it easier for him to feel at home at his new NRL club.
The rugged NSW and one-time Australian utility has been reunited with former St George Illawarra coach Wayne Bennett and fellow ex-Dragons Darius Boyd, Neville Costigan and Jeremy Smith, with whom he won the 2010 NRL premiership.
Knights Chris Houston, Alex McKinnon and Kevin Naiqama also did time at the Dragons during Scott’s six-year stint with the club.
Scott, who has signed a four-year deal with the Knights, officially clocked on for his first day at work yesterday when he joined the squad for fitness testing at the University of Newcastle.
The Knights are Scott’s third NRL club, after the 28-year-old Picton Magpies junior made his debut among 28 appearances for Cronulla in 2005 and 2006.
He returned to the Dragons in 2007, having played in the club’s junior representative teams before joining the Sharks, and went on to play 118 NRL games for the Red V.
Three of his six years at the Dragons were with Bennett, so he knows what is in store.
‘‘It does make it easier, being under Wayne and the coaching staff that’s at the Knights at the moment, and knowing what to expect,’’ Scott said yesterday.
‘‘He’s pretty intimidating when he wants to be but, like I said, I know what to expect with Wayne and the styles of the group of coaches we’ve got here, so I’m looking forward to it.
‘‘It’s the first day back at training with the group itself.
‘‘They’re a great bunch of fellas and I know a fair few of them already ... so I’m looking forward to getting amongst it.’’ Scott is still recovering from groin surgery but does not anticipate missing much of the pre-season program.
‘‘I’m still on a rehab schedule, but when the groin gets back to 100per cent I’ll jump back into full training. It’s sort of a week-to-week thing now, so we’ll just manage it as it goes,’’ he said.
Scott is equally at home in the back row or the centres but said he was yet to discuss what role Bennett envisaged for him.
‘‘I’m pretty happy to fill whatever spot I need to do for the team,’’ he said.
He hoped to add to his five Origin games for NSW and one Test match for Australia, but his priority was to nail down a spot with the Knights.
‘‘First and foremost it’s a solid pre-season, and start to play football with the Knights ... You’ve got to play good club football to be in that representative circle ,’’ he said.
Though he falls short of being one of the club’s ‘‘thirty-somethings’’ – he turns 29 in May – Scott will be one of the senior players expected to play a mentoring role.
‘‘At nearly every club they’ve got a senior playing group and the young stock coming through. I guess to get that balance right at the club is the main thing, so I’m not too worried about the playing group’s age at all,’’ he said.
‘‘I guess we’ve been around for a while now, Jeremy [Smith] and myself, and I guess we can help steer the young fellas on the right path, which is good for the club.’’