Matty Johns: Why I won’t help coach my sons
He helped Cooper Cronk become the most complete halfback of the modern era - but Newcastle legend Matty Johns won't be offering to apply the same polish to his talented sons.
Cooper, a 20-year-old halfback at Melbourne Storm, and 22-year-old brother Jack, a backrower on South Sydney's development roster, are hoping to write their own chapters in the famed Johns legacy, but will have to do so without the help of their old man.
"It's really important for me to keep away, particularly in the house," Johns told The Daily Telegraph at Fox Sports 2020 NRL season launch.
"They need an old man, they don't need another coach, they get coached all day.
"When they come in the house, it's got to be a bit of a haven away from the pressure of football."
Cooper is in the frame for the coveted No.7 jersey at the Storm following Brodie Croft's move to Brisbane, and Matthew Johns sees plenty of similarities with his brother and rugby league Immortal, Andrew.
"The younger bloke, Cooper, is a bit of a mug lair… like his uncle," Johns said.
"He's a more outgoing sort of kid.
"(He) has his own style. He's a ballplayer and has a decent kicking game."
The young halfback - in his third year at the club - scored a try in Melbourne's trial win over the Warriors on Saturday and with the Storm set to lose players over the Origin period, has been tipped to make his NRL debut in 2020.
"He might get a couple of goes this year. He's at a club where they don't give away jerseys, if he gets a start then he's obviously ready," Johns said.
"If he doesn't get a start and he's a little while away, then that's also the right decision."
Cooper Johns, HFB, $171,900
Won't start the season for the Storm unless there is an injury crisis, but a serious option over Origin when Cameron Munster is out. One for the watch list.
Jack Johns, 2RF, $171,900
Not in the top 30 for now but he's highly rated at the Rabbitohs who are missing plenty of forward power in Sam Burgess, John Sutton (both retired) and George Burgess (Super League). Fingers crossed for an Origin-period cheapie.