Johns Brothers Defend Joey’s Call as O’Brien Faces Backlash over Knights Halves Decision

Newcastle coach Adam O’Brien has come under fire from both Matthew and Andrew Johns for his handling of the Knights’ halves situation. The legendary brothers, who are considered Knights royalty, have publicly criticized O’Brien for ignoring calls to give rising star Will Pryce his NRL debut.

Andrew Johns, an eighth rugby league immortal, had urged O’Brien to make the change after a poor performance by Jackson Hastings and Jack Cogger in the halves. Despite the plea, O’Brien stuck with the same combination in the following game, dismissing Johns’ advice in a post-match press conference.

The public spat has raised questions about O’Brien’s future at the club, with Matthew Johns expressing disappointment in the coach’s response to his brother’s suggestion. Cooper Johns also joined in, calling for respect towards Andrew’s opinion, especially after a heavy defeat.

The Knights have been struggling in the halves for most of the season, and tensions seemed to have escalated further when reports emerged of a training session altercation between Hastings and Pryce. The situation remains unresolved as the team grapples with the ongoing criticism from the Johns brothers.