NRL's Knights deny talks with Williams

Daniel Gilhooly
Wigan Warriors star George Williams has an admirer in Newcastle Knights coach Nathan Brown

Nathan Brown says George Williams' signature would be a coup at Newcastle but says he hasn't spoken to the English Test star.

Knights coach Brown is a long-time admirer of Wigan five-eighth Williams, who this week said he liked the idea of ending his Super League contract a year early and shifting to the NRL.

Reports have linked the classy seven-Test playmaker with Newcastle but both Williams and Brown say the parties haven't met.

Brown reckons he scours the English club game for talent more than other NRL coach following six years coaching there.

"George was a young fella who played some junior footy against St Helens when I was there," Brown said.

"He's a very talented player and he would certainly add to our squad.

"We haven't spoken to anyone like George Williams but he certainly is a gifted player."

A hefty transfer fee would be needed to snare Williams, who could forge a potent halves pairing with Mitchell Pearce.

Brown concedes his team need a recruitment boost following their 20-4 loss to the Warriors in Auckland on Friday.

Their 13th defeat reflected where his 11th-placed team ranks, he said, better than the wooden spoon outfit of his first two seasons in charge but still not good enough to break into the top eight.

"Year one we were hopeless, or we had a heap of people who probably shouldn't have been playing first grade. They weren't ready," Brown said.

"Last year we were average and this year we're ok.

"The way we're tracking, I'd like to think we'd be a good football team next year."

Brown wants to boost his 2019 signings beyond the already-secured trio of Melbourne forward Tim Glasby and Cronulla backs Edrick Lee and Jesse Ramien.

He admitted it was a tight NRL market, which is why England could be his next stop.