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Knights director of football Brian Canavan.

The NRL's head of football Brian Canavan has moved to the Newcastle Knights to take up a role as director of football.

Following the previously announced appointment of former Titans CEO Graham Annesley to an elite head of football role within the NRL, Luke Ellis has now been internally promoted to the role of head of game development, participation and pathways.

In a statement, NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said Canavan had played a key role in setting up the NRL's new pathways programs and the establishment of the new women's premiership.

"These achievements have set the game up for success well into the future," Greenberg said. "So we thank Brian for his service and contribution to the game which will continue in his new role at the Knights."

Canavan said he believed the Knights are on the cusp of something special.

"The club is now financially secure, it is well run and the team is building into a very strong contender," he said.

"It is now well positioned to regain its standing as a regional rugby league and sporting powerhouse."

Knights CEO Philip Gardner said while the club has many applicants for the position, the appointment of Canavan was an easy choice.

"Brian is one of the game's top administrators," Gardner said in a statement.

"He is well regarded and held in a high esteem by his peers. Having someone of his expertise eager to join the organisation is further proof that the club is headed in the right direction.

"We had some highly qualified applicants for the position but to have a person of Brian's expertise overseeing the club puts the Knights in a very strong position."

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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