Hoy in mix as Knights NRL goalkicker

Melissa Woods
Tex Hoy (l) is in the mix to take over Kalyn Ponga's goalkicking duties at the Newcastle Knights

Tex Hoy may take over more than just Kalyn Ponga's fullback jersey with the youngster also in the running to replace the Newcastle star as the team's goalkicker when the NRL resumes.

Ponga will serve a one-match suspension in round three, opening the door for Hoy to make his NRL debut.

The son of former professional surfer Matt Hoy, 20-year-old Tex has long been earmarked as a first-grader.

Knights coach Adam O'Brien earlier this month named Hoy as Ponga's replacement and said on Wednesday he was also in the mix to take on the goalkicking duties.

He said Hoy and five-eighth Kurt Mann had been having regular shootouts at the end of training.

"Kurt has been the one who's stood out a little bit but Tex is holding his end up as well," O'Brien said.

The coach said despite his inexperience Hoy would still take on the role if he was best for it.

"It's certainly a factor that I've thought about - he's doing enough filling Kalyn's shoes let alone putting the pressure of the goalkicking on him, but at the end of the day if he's the best man for the job I'd rather go up in sixes than fours so he might have to get used to it pretty quickly."

O'Brien said Ponga had responded well to Hoy's rise and had raised the bar in training.

"KP (Ponga) will obviously have to sit on the sidelines for the first one but he's training as good as I've seen," he said.

"He looks way sharper than before we went on the break so the time away has been good for him."

O'Brien said there was also plenty of hot competition in the centres, with Enari Tuala and Gehamat Shibasaki looking to hold onto their jerseys from round two.

He said teenager Bradman Best, who had foot surgery, was back running while Tautau Moga was also pressing his claims.

"They are going at it every day - they are all fighting for a feed so it's lifted our training standards a lot."