Kennedy to skipper Knights

Newcastle Knights coach Michael Hagan this morning named Ben Kennedy as the club?s replacement captain following the season-ending knee injury to Andrew Johns.

Kennedy will captain the side in this weekend?s match against St George-Illawarra at WIN Stadium and is expected to retain the duties for the rest of the season.

Johns suffered a serious knee injury during the Knights? loss to Parramatta last weekend and has been ruled out for the year.

?The captaincy of this football club is a very big honour and an equally big responsibility,? Kennedy said today.

?And given the injury crisis we are faced with at the moment, it probably takes on an even greater significance, but that is something I am prepared to take on board.?

Kurt Gidley will replace Johns at halfback this weekend, pairing up with brother Matthew in the halves.

Kennedy says he expects his side to lift in the wake of the Johns injury and says he?ll be relying on his senior players to get things moving.

?I certainly expect plenty of support from players such Danny Buderus, Matt Parsons and Matt Gidley ? I know they are just as determined as I am to knock over the Dragons and put ourselves in premiership contention,? he said.

Knights side v Dragons: Robbie O'Davis, Craig Hall, Timana Tahu, Russell Richardson, George Carmont, Matthew Gidley, Kurt Gidley, Josh Perry, Danny Buderus, Adam Woolnough, Todd Lowrie, Daniel Abraham, Ben Kennedy (c). Bench: Matt Parsons, Matthew Kennedy, Andrew Price, Riley Brown