Newcastle Knights coach Nathan Brown has praised the performances of rookie fullback Nick Meaney who will join the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs next season on a three-year deal.
The 21-year old made his NRL debut two weeks ago against the Parramatta Eels due to Kalyn Ponga being sidelined with an injury, but it was his performance against the Gold Titans in round 19 that impressed Brown.
"He actually made a difference. That shows the confidence from game one to game two and I would expect if he played next week, he would play better again. If Kalyn is fit, Nick probably won't find himself at fullback for obvious reasons, but if that is his last game, I'm sure if Canterbury and Dean Pay would have been watching, they would have been rather impressed," said Brown.
Match: Bulldogs v Wests Tigers
Round 20 -
Venue: ANZ Stadium
Meaney is in his third season at Newcastle and over the past three seasons has spent plenty of time working on his game alongside former Canterbury premiership player and Knights assistant coach, Michael Potter.
"He has done a lot of work with Mick Potter who teaches the outside backs as good as anyone. His positional play, his defensive part of the game for a young fullback is very, very good. We had a lot of confidence in Nick, but we're losing a good player because we've got a better one, which is when you want to lose them," added Brown.
The Ballina Seagulls junior represented the NSW Under-20 side last season, as well as being a member of the Intrust Super NSW Residents squad.
He is a young player with a bright future and has the ability to play either wing or centre, but fullback is his position.
"Fullback was his dream position and it's not going to happen at this club in the shorter part of your career then Canterbury was certainly a good option for him," Brown said.
Meaney will join Newcastle team-mate Jack Cogger at the Bulldogs next season, having built a strong relationship with him during their time together at the Knights.