Mann keen for stability in Knights' spine

Pamela Whaley
After moving around at the Knights last season Kurt Mann (l) wants to secure a berth in the halves

Newcastle utility Kurt Mann spent no more than three consecutive NRL games in the one position in 2019 but hopes to have finally found his spot in the halves.

After a season-ending injury to hooker Jayden Brailey in round two, coach Adam O'Brien has been forced to find a dummy half solution for his 80-minute rake.

Mann was originally brought to the Knights by former coach Nathan Brown as a potential No.9, and moved between the halves, fullback, wing, centres and a bench utility last season.

He started the first two games of the 2020 season alongside halfback Mitchell Pearce and is expecting to remain at five-eighth rather than be moved again.

It opens the door for fellow utility Connor Watson to reprise his role at dummy half, while rookies Chris Randall and Luke Huth are also in the mix.

It's likely at least one will be included on the bench against the Panthers in round three and onwards as Watson adapts to play 80 minutes.

For Mann, the stability will allow him to work on the combination he started to develop with Pearce last season.

"The combination was working pretty well, I spent a bit of time with Pearcey in the halves (in 2019) so I got to know him pretty well and I think I know his game pretty well," he said.

"I don't think we lost much (during the coronavirus shutdown).

"I tried to keep in touch with him as much as I could over the break period so we've hit the ground running since we've been back."

Meanwhile, on Thursday the NRL is set to announce the remaining rounds and venues for the season resumption on May 28.

It's believed Central Coast Stadium is being looked at as a possible venue, a likely home ground for the Knights.

"We all love playing in Newcastle, we love being at our home ground and our stadium ... but with no crowd it takes the atmosphere and the home ground advantage away," Mann said.

"We will play anyone, any time and anywhere - as a playing group we have adapted that mentality. We will be right wherever we play."