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21 Jan 2018 14:00
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby League

    Heighington dreaming of Knights NRL title

    Veteran forward Chris Heighington says there's no reason Newcastle can't win the NRL premiership in 2018.

    - article from www.rugbyleague.co.nz

    After pulling on a Newcastle shirt for the first time, Chris Heighington has that 2005 feeling all over again.

    Heighington on Wednesday began official preparations for his 16th NRL season when he turned up for his first training session with new club Newcastle.

    At 35, the two-time premiership winner has been brought in by coach Nathan Brown to provide support for his young squad.

    Heighington and fellow experienced recruits Mitchell Pearce, Jacob Lillyman and Aidan Guerra are seen as vital cogs in the Knights' rebuild.

    Newcastle's list is seen as being full of promise but still several years away from competing for a premiership.

    Heighington, however, was not only bullish about their finals chances, he said there was no reason they shouldn't dream of a premiership next year.

    He likened the squad to the Wests Tigers' 2005 grand final-winning side, of which he was a part, and emphasised stranger things had happened in the NRL.

    "There's always a chance," Heighington said.

    "Back in '05, when we were six or seven games into the premiership, we were $101 to win it.

    "It's got that kind of feel to it. We had the Benji Marshalls and Robbie Farahs who were young. We've got Brock Lamb coming through, players like that."

    After five seasons at Cronulla, including playing in their 2016 premiership victory, Heighington couldn't come to a deal with the Sharks for 2018 and took up an offer to finish his career in the Hunter.

    Just two-and-a-half weeks after playing in England's World Cup final loss to Australia, Heighington showed up to Knights training because, as he puts it, he was bored and wanted to get a jump-start on his 2018 campaign.

    "I was a bit bored so I thought I'd do a few sessions before the Christmas break," Heighington said.

    "I've only had a bit over two weeks which is okay. I enjoy training and being around the boys.

    "I got to know a few of them today and I'll get to know them a bit more over the next few weeks."


    NZN




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