Jess Skinner's start to life as assistant coach of the Newcastle Knights' NRLW side hasn't been the smoothest, but there's still high hopes the club can make a major impact in its first debut campaign.
The Knights are one of three new clubs in the competition, with former Western Rams mentor Skinner assisting coach Casey Bromilow.
It's been a tricky start to things for the Knights as the pandemic resulted in the planned competition being cancelled last year while a COVID outbreak at the club meant the start of training this year was delayed.
Skinner was there when the team finally took to the paddock on Tuesday, minus a handful of players who were still isolating.
The disrupted build-up isn't ideal given the Knights' first match of the season against Parramatta is on February 27 but captain Caitlan Johnston said the squad is making the best of it.
"There's a lot of excitement, just the thought of being in the inaugural Knights NRLW side and getting to put on that red and blue jersey," she said.
"Obviously we're going to face challenges and barriers in this time during COVID, but things are evolving and changing. It's about adapting to the rules we have to abide by and if we do that as a team, I think, it makes it a lot easier for us."
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