NATHAN Brown’s credit card has been getting a workout at Newcastle’s eateries.
Having spent the past few weeks courting prospective signings like Jack Bird, Ben Matulino and Kieran Foran, the Knights coach was spotted dining with Sydney Roosters outside back Shaun Kenny-Dowall in The Junction on Wednesday night.
As our exclusive photograph shows, the pair were deep in conversation. Possibly they were debating whether to order the chicken or the fish, or perhaps they were discussing the prospects of Kenny-Dowall joining the Knights next season.
It is not the first time Brown has been spotted at a Newcastle cafe negotiating with players, after photos appeared of him and the Fifita brothers, Andrew and David, in Hamilton during the pre-season.
Kenny-Dowall, the 29-year-old New Zealand international is off-contract at the end of this year and could be squeezed out if the Roosters proceed with plans to sign Wests Tigers fullback James Tedesco.
Tedesco has been given until close of business Friday to re-sign with the Tigers, amid speculation the Roosters are tempting him with a deal that would be worth close to $1 million a season.
To accommodate him, they would likely need to off-load players, potentially giving Newcastle a shot at signing Kenny-Dowall.
In 222 top-grade games, the lanky winger or centre has scored 120 tries.
Of current players in the NRL, only Billy Slater (172), Manu Vatuvei (152), Greg Inglis (139), Brett Morris (134) and Michael Jennings (123) have crossed the stripe more often.
He has also scored nine tries in 20 Tests for the Kiwis and was a member of the Roosters’ 2013 grand final winning team, playing much of that game with a broken jaw.
Brown has insisted since missing out on signing Bird last week that Newcastle would keep bidding for top-tier players.
“We want to attract a couple of high-profile players with a lot of experience to go with our younger players … the players we’re looking at are very well-credentialled,” Brown said on Wednesday.