Knights playmaker Jack Cogger.

Halves Cogger and fit again Watson in the spotlight for Newcastle

Newcastle coach Nathan Brown has faith Jack Cogger can quickly evolve into a first grade player over the next few rounds in the Telstra Premiership.

The 20-year-old has been handed the major task of replacing Mitchell Pearce as the club's chief playmaker.

Cogger partnered Pearce last weekend in the halves against the Tigers in Tamworth, before the gun number seven suffered a pectoral injury, ruling him out for up to 16 weeks.

In a much needed boost for the Knights ahead of Friday's clash with the Sea Eagles at Lottoland, Connor Watson returns to the starting line-up at five-eighth 

"He (Watson) will bring plenty of commitment and speed to our team which is great, and Jack is pretty adaptable," Brown said.

"He (Cogger) played a bit of a different role last week with Mitchell (Pearce), but he handled himself well, so we have confidence he will do a good job for us."

Brown added Cogger will have to take on more of a commanding role with the Steeden, just like he has recently in the Intrust Super Premiership.

"The more confident Jack is, the more confident the team will be in him," Brown said.

"I would like to think that he has been training for three years for this day.

"He played the last couple of years when he wasn't ready and I believe that he is now ready."

Knights halfback Jack Cogger.
Knights halfback Jack Cogger. ©NRL Photos

Winger Nathan Ross believes that with one door closing, it is the chance for another to open and Cogger must stamp his authority at halfback.

"Jack...he is methodical in everything he does, so I know he will prepare well and the whole team will have a lot of faith in him,'' he said.

"We've been blessed this year in terms of leadership, where in the past few years we have lacked depth there.

"We've lost Mitchell, but Aidan (Guerra) is a big leader on the field, JB (Jamie Buhrer) is also a big leader on the field, and then we have Mitch Barnett."