Veteran playmaker Blake Green has firmed in the betting to be named as Mitchell Pearce's successor as captain of the Newcastle Knights after he was chosen in a new five-player leadership group for 2021.
Leading forward Mitch Barnett and rising stars Jayden Brailey, Daniel Saifiti and Kalyn Ponga will form the new-look group alongside Green, with the leaders chosen on Friday night following the club's week-long training camp in Tamworth.
Coach Adam O'Brien has been working on a new leadership model for months but it's understood there was also plenty of input from the playing group with their votes taken into consideration.
While Pearce was not considered for a role after he stood down from the captaincy more than a fortnight ago, experienced Kangaroos prop David Klemmer was a surprise omission from the group.
Klemmer had been mooted as a captaincy contender by fans and some sections of the media after Pearce had relinquished the job.
It's understood O'Brien will potentially wait until the club launches its season in March to officially appoint a captain but it's expected all five players will have roles to play during the course of the season.
Green and Ponga will miss the early rounds of the competition as they recover from surgery, opening the door for either Brailey, Saifiti or Barnett to lead the side out against the Bulldogs in the opening round at McDonald Jones Stadium on Friday, March 12.
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