The Newcastle Knights have moved swiftly following Saturday night’s 52-6 annihilation at the hands of the South Sydney Rabbitohs, sacking coach Rick Stone earlier today.
The Knights have been in the grips of a hellacious form slump after starting the season strongly, and are now languishing in the bottom rungs of the ladder in 14th place with a win/loss record of 6 and 12.
After opening the season with four wins on the trot, the Knights have since spectacularly fallen away, winning just 2 of the proceeding 14 matches.
A club statement issued this afternoon confirmed Stone’s departure from the organisation, stating that the club board had called him in earlier today to inform him that his position was “untenable.”
Knights CEO Matt Gidley stated “We thank Rick for his efforts and loyalty over a long period of time and while these decisions are never easy, it was made in the best interests of the Club.”
“The Club will now undertake a formal review process of our entire football operations, of which the playing group are a key part, and all have the opportunity to demonstrate over the next seven weeks why they should retain their position.”
“The Club strives to build a consistent, competitive and entertaining team and this formal review process will help us achieve this.”
This was Rick Stone’s second stint as coach of the Knights, taking over from Wayne Bennett during this past off-season, following Bennett’s return to the Brisbane Broncos.
The Knights have announced that club legend Danny Buderus will step in as the interim coach for the remainder of the season. Current Manly coach Geoff Toovey – himself rumoured to be facing the axe imminently – along with Melbourne Storm coaching consultant Nathan Brown are the names being bandied about at this early stage as potential new Knights coaches.
Photo: Ian Hitchcock via Getty Images.