NRL Expert @JennaBrooks
NRL talking points: Brown to leave Knights, Burgess blow and Scott recovering
Last Updated: 21/08/19 10:44am
Jenna Brooks has the latest from the NRL as Nathan Brown quits the Knights, Sam Burgess suffers another blow and a huge scare for Cowboys veteran Matt Scott.
Brown to depart
Brown has shocked the rugby league world announcing he will leave Newcastle Knights at the end of the season.
The decision has come as a huge surprise, with Newcastle currently in 10th in the table, just two points outside the top eight.
The former St Helens and Huddersfield Giants coach, who signed a performance-based contract last year, believes the timing to move on is right.
"My main job was to come here and put the club back together," Brown said.
"It's been a tough but enjoyable job. I've met lots of great people and I feel the club is far better off for me coming here.
"But it's important to remember the year is not over, and I look forward to finishing the season off strongly and push for a final berth."
Brown wants to continue his coaching career. However, it's unlikely it will be back in Super League with St Helens.
The League Leaders' Shield winners are expected to announce their new coach for 2020 after Saturday's Challenge Cup final. Kristian Woolf, Brown's assistant, is the favourite.
So who is expected to replace Brown at Newcastle? Sydney Roosters assistants Adam O'Brien and Craig Fitzgibbon are among the front-runners.
Double blow for Burgess
2019 has been a year to forget for Burgess. The star prop has aggravated a quad injury during South Sydney Rabbitohs' shock defeat to Canterbury Bulldogs on Saturday.
The quad strain forced Burgess to sit out the Rabbitohs' loss to Melbourne Storm the week before, but the captain, who returned for their round 22 match against Canterbury, admitted he was only meant to play at 80 percent
"You have to listen to your body," Burgess said. "I was playing in the middle as well, so I wasn't moving as fast or as often.
"But that break at the end there and when I've tried to chase down Will (Hopoate), stupidly, I didn't need to do it, but it was the competitive edge.
"Thankfully I pulled out of it and I pulled up, and hopefully the damage is not as bad as first thought."
Regardless, it's another blow for the England international who has endured a frustrating season. He has already spent eight weeks on the sidelines after undergoing shoulder surgery, which resulted in an infection.
The 14-6 loss to the Bulldogs is South Sydney's third straight, which sees them drop out of the top four for the first time this season.
The Bunnies will be hoping Burgess recovers in time to take on head coach Wayne Bennett's former side Brisbane Broncos, live on Sky Sports on Friday.
South Sydney will be also without Sam's brother Tom, who suffered a knee injury and isn't expected to return until the finals - if at all this season.
North Queensland Cowboys forward Scott suffered a mild stroke on Sunday.
Scott, who is playing in his 16th and final season for the Cowboys, is recovering in hospital.
The dreadful incident occurred while the team were in Brisbane, on a stopover after their defeat to Newcastle.
"By the time we arrived in Brisbane he was pretty crook, and so we decided to send him to hospital," Cowboys head coach Paul Green said.
"Look, it's pretty serious. I'd be surprised if he does play again, but I think that is the least of his worries at this stage."
The club released a statement saying doctors were confident it was unrelated to rugby league and that the 34-year old is expected to make a full recovery.
Josh Hodgson created the turning point in Canberra Raiders' come-from-behind win over Melbourne.
There were just four minutes left and the Raiders were trailing by two points when the England hooker pulled off a trademark one-on-one strip to help his team to victory.
Hodgson made 37 tackles and had a try assist, his 14th of the season, in the game as well.
Meanwhile, Canberra could be heading to the UK next year, according to their CEO Don Furner.
Wigan Warriors - the former club of two of the Raiders' other English imports, John Bateman and Ryan Sutton - have expressed their interest in both hosting a game and training alongside the Raiders.
"There is a fair bit of interest in us in the north of England now with four - five next year - UK players," Furner told the Canberra Times.
"Hopefully we're over there for the World Club Challenge anyway, but failing that this is something we'll explore."