Nathan Ross was told by arguably the greatest coach in rugby league history, Wayne Bennett, back in 2013 to forget about his dream of playing in the NRL because he was never going to make it. Ross ignored the brutal advice and a year later, walked away from the security of a $125,000 mining job despite being about to become a father for the first time to sign a modest $25,000 contract with the Newcastle Knights.
He went on to play 60 NRL games for the Knights between 2015 and 2018 after making his debut under Danny Buderus at the age of 26 and became a cult hero among Knights fans during some of the darkest days in the club's history.
In our latest Toohey's News podcast, the player known as 'White Lightning' or simply 'Ross Dog' takes us back over his remarkable career and talks about the highly controversial way it ended in medical retirement.
The Newcastle Herald has reached out to former Knights coach Nathan Brown and the club's former physical performance manager Tony Ayoub to give them the chance to respond to Ross' claims in the podcast.
"I am sorry if Nathan feels that way," Ayoub said.
"I can only draw on my 30 years of experience in dealing with injuries and what I see as a fit way to treat and train (players) in what was my capacity as head physio and then head of performance at different clubs.
"In some instances certain players needed pushing based on what I was assessing at that time.
"At no time have I intentionally pushed a player that I didn't think could handle the loads or I would never put them in a position where I felt it would be to the detriment of their health."
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Barry Toohey will bring a new episode to all your favourite podcasting apps every week, complementing his premium and exclusive Knights reporting and analysis in the pages of the Newcastle Herald.
Season 2, Episode 8 will publish next Thursday.