Knights coach opens door to signing Woods

Newcastle Knights coach Nathan Brown has not closed the door on Canterbury Bulldogs and Kangaroos prop Aaron Woods joining the club.

Woods' name, and big-money contract, have been mentioned regularly as the Bulldogs attempt to shed players to rectify their troublesome salary cap situation.

"Any time there's front-rowers on the market we're always discussing that," Brown said on Wednesday.

"I'm not sure what the story is with Canterbury, whether he is a movable piece.

"We certainly came into this year two or three middles short, so we're in a strong position if someone like Woodsy became available and we thought it was part of the plan and he wanted to come. I'm not sure how much truth's in any of it."

On the field, Brown has recalled young gun Cory Denniss to the centres for the Telstra Premiership match against the Parramatta Eels on Saturday night to replace the injured Nathan Ross.

The 20-year-old last played in the top side in 2016 before spending 2017 playing in both the Intrust Super Premiership and under 20 competitions.

"It's been a long ride compared to what first happened with Cory," Brown said.

"He played first grade well before his time. Last year he did what most young blokes should do and he spent a bit of time in the 20s and reserve grade.

"This year he's been in reserve grade and he's been 18th man on numbers of occasions and now he has his chance. We're all keen to see how much he's developed."

Denniss will go head to head with Parramatta veteran centre Michael Jennings on Saturday night.

Jennings, 30, has almost 250 NRL games under his belt and looms as a stern test for the Knights youngster.

"This week he gets a shot playing Michael Jennings," Brown said.

"While Parramatta have been losing a lot of close games, he's been playing very well."

Brown admits his team has struggled at times without their injured play-maker Mitchell Pearce, but said the key is to ensure teams do not become too reliant on one player's presence.

"I saw the great Knight's sides lose Andrew Johns and they couldn't win a game," Brown recalls.

"So it's not uncommon for a side to lose a halfback, or a quarterback, and it exposes some issues.

" What we have to do in recruit, [so] if we do lose a Mitchell or Kalyn [Ponga], we can cover adequately... it's not unexpected from my eyes to lose Mitchell and for us to struggle a little bit.''