Former Singleton Greyhound Josh King out to impress Newcastle Knights coach Adam O'Brien

Opportunity: Knights prop Josh King has been recalled to first grade. Picture: Jonathan Carroll.
Opportunity: Knights prop Josh King has been recalled to first grade. Picture: Jonathan Carroll.

FORMER Singleton Greyhound Josh King has been slogging away at training all season without any real reward, just biding his time, waiting for an opportunity.

So you can bet your life no one will be hungrier than the Knights prop to make an impression and leave his mark when he comes off the bench against the Melbourne Storm on the Sunshine Coast on Sunday, August 2.

At stake is not only the chance to cement a spot in the 17 for the rest of the season but also to land a new contract with the club going forward under coach Adam O'Brien.

Still only 24, King has played more NRL games for the Knights than skipper Mitchell Pearce and it's no surprise his work ethic has impressed O'Brien.

Off contract at the end of the season after spending the past six or seven seasons in the Knights system, the Singleton junior has been on the coach's radar for the past few weeks, simply because of his relentless approach to training.

"In terms of doing extras after training and chasing this jersey, certainly he's done that," O'Brien said this week.

"Turning the lights off at training is about the only thing that gets him off there so he's worked really hard Kingy.

"He can put himself in the frame to keep himself in the team with a good performance."

King was one of three forced changes to the squad for the Melbourne clash following season-ending injuries to Andrew McCullough and Connor Watson and the serious ankle injury picked up by Sione Mata'utia during the loss the the Bulldogs.

All three have undergone surgery since the game.

Rookie Chris Randall is a straight replacement at hooker for McCullough while another rookie Phoenix Crossland and King were added to the bench.

King told ACM back in April after the NSW Cup competition was abandoned for the season due to COVID-19 that the training paddock was where he was going to have to fight for a top grade spot.

"It's going to be tough to break into that 17," he said.

"But I'll be giving it my absolute best.

"The best thing I can do is just be positive and go to training every day with a good attitude and give absolutely everything I've got and really show what it means to me to be a Knights player."

With all the players under notice following the disappointing loss to the bottom-placed Bulldogs, the Knights will need to up the ante considerably to upset Melbourne.

The Storm have won their past five games and have scored 40 points or more on three occasions over that period.