Who’s next? Favourites emerge for Knights job
TWO former teammates of Nathan Brown and a rookie coach are the frontrunners to replace the Newcastle coach next year following his shock exit from the club.
Craig Fitzgibbon and Jason Ryles along with Adam O'Brien are the early favourites to lead the Knights in 2020 and beyond.
Fitzgibbon and Ryles played alongside Brown at St George Illawarra, with Brown and Fitzgibbon part of the Dragons' side that lost the 1999 grand final to Melbourne.
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Fitzgibbon then moved to the Roosters where he starred for the club while Ryles was coached for much of his career at the Dragons when Brown took over in 2003.
They both farewelled the Dragons at the end of 2008.
Fitzgibbon and Ryles have long been considered head coaches in waiting having successfully transitioned into assistant roles since retiring.
Ryles has been Craig Bellamy's right-hand man this year having taking over that role from O'Brien.
O'Brien joined the Roosters this year after a decorated stint working under Bellamy at Melbourne. He too is expected to be a long-term coach at some stage.
Ryles has also been in the mix for another one of Brown's former jobs - the St Helens position.