Adam Docker's dad was known as the 'The Doctor' for his reputation of putting players to sleep. Copyright: NRL Photos/Colin Whelan.

Panthers hitman Docker nose no fear

This right here is the look of a bloke who knows – pun absolutely intended – to play through a compound fracture in that nuzzle.

Of course, if you knew of the plethora of injuries Penrith lock Adam Docker has had to endure over his short NRL career, you'd already know he could do that.

"But I've never broken my nose before, this is the first time," Docker told NRL.com.

Seconds before landing the first try of his 21-game career, Docker's nose clashed with Tyrone Roberts' head, causing the Newcastle halfback to come off for concussion.

Docker, 23, scored the try, wrapped some tape around that hard head of his and like all hard men do, played on.

"He came out of nowhere really, I didn't even know he was coming. I just caught the ball, looked over and he was straight up in my face," he said.

"I just wanted to get my first try. So I wasn't really worried about anything. Just getting over that line and putting the ball down."

Them's fighting words befitting a man capable of playing in the NRL cauldron that is the front row, where 184cm, 91kg men like him aren't meant to be sociable anyway – at least not this year.

Upon news of the club reportedly shopping established props Tim Grant and Sam McKendry, Docker revealed coach Ivan Cleary's plan to turn him into a front-rower by the end of 2015.

And some think coaches don't look past the next game.

"He wanted to put me in the front row. He wanted me at 95kg by the end of 2015," Docker recalled of a pre-season meeting with Cleary.

"That's the talk, so I'm slowly getting there. He just said he wanted to play me in the front row, at lock, moving me around a bit. Front row's pretty much the same as lock these days anyway. I don't mind it, the hardest bit is just putting on the kilograms.

"I'm just happy to play, really. Wherever he puts me, I'll play and try my best."

He's got some esteemed hard nuts to learn off in the meantime. The acquisition of two-time premiership-winner Brent Kite from Manly is an astute one, while he's enjoyed every minute working with former representative players Grant and McKendry. And of course, then there's his bash brother, Nigel Plum.

"We got Kitey, with all the experience he brings. And there's TG, who's played Origin, and also, Plummy. If I need a hand in anything, I've got plenty of people to talk to," he said.

But the real adjustment for Docker won't be putting the bigger blokes down. He is, after all, the son of a former Wollongong A-grader they used to call 'The Doctor' because of his ability to put blokes to sleep.

Instead, he'll have to craft out an ability to do something with the ball, which is the blueprint for big boppers in this modern age.

"I've just been practicing my ball skills because that's not my highest attribute," he said.

"If I need to excel in my career and stuff, I need to concentrate on what my smaller attributes are. So passing, I've been working on that a little bit."

Everything else he's pretty much got down pat.