With the 2018 season drawing nearer, we will begin to look at how each team is shaping up for the season ahead.

Today, we take a look at the Newcastle Knights – and what their best 17 looks like.

Newcastle Knights 2018 Player Movements

2018 Gains
JJ Collins (Wests Tigers, 2020), Herman Ese'ese (Brisbane Broncos, 2020), Slade Griffin (Melbourne Storm, 2019), Aidan Guerra (Sydney Roosters, 2020), Christian Hazard (2018), Chris Heighington (Cronulla Sharks, 2018), Jack Johns (2018), Shaun Kenny-Dowall (Sydney Roosters, 2019), Jacob Lillyman (New Zealand Warriors, 2018), Tautau Moga (Brisbane Broncos, 2020), Brent Naden (Canberra Raiders, 2018), Mitchell Pearce (Sydney Roosters, 2021), Kalyn Ponga (North Queensland Cowboys, 2021), Connor Watson (Sydney Roosters, 2020)
2018 Losses
David Bhana (released), Brendan Elliot (Gold Coast Titans), Jaelen Feeney (released), Dane Gagai (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Jacob Gagan (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Trent Hodkinson (Cronulla Sharks), Rory Kostjasyn (retired), Peter Mata'utia (Leigh Centurions), Sam Mataora (retired), Jarrod Mullen (released), Mickey Paea (Hull FC), Pauli Pauli (Wakefield Trinity), Will Pearsall (released), Tyler Randell (Wakefield Trinity), Josh Starling (retired), Jack Stockwell (Gold Coast Titans), Anthony Tupou (retired), Joe Wardle (Huddersfield Giants)
Tyrone Amey (2018), Mitch Barnett (2020), Lachlan Fitzgibbon (2021), Tom Hughes (2018), Jack Johns (2018), Danny Levi (2020), Nick Meaney (2021), Dylan Phythian (2018), Nathan Ross (2020), Daniel Saifiti (2020), Jacob Saifiti (2020), Tom Starling (2018), Sam Stone (2020), Luke Yates (2019)
Off Contract 2019
Jamie Buhrer, Slade Griffin, Hymel Hunt, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Zac Woolford
SEE ALSO:  Unusual contract clause means Knights have the potential to fire Brown at any time

2018 Predicted Lineup

  1. Kalyn Ponga
  2. Shaun Kenny-Dowall
  3. Tautau Moga
  4. Sione Mata’utia
  5. Nathan Ross
  6. Brock Lamb
  7. Mitchell Pearce ©
  8. Daniel Saifiti
  9. Slade Griffin
  10. Jacob Lillyman
  11. Aidan Guerra
  12. Jamie Buhrer ©
  13. Mitch Barnett
  14. Connor Watson
  15. Jacob Saifiti
  16. Lachlan Fitzgibbon
  17. Herman Ese’ese

Coach: Nathan Brown

Reserves: Chris Heighington, Danny Levi, Sam Stone, Jack Johns.

The Big Question: Will the perfect recruitment drive of youth and experience be enough to allow the Knights to push for their first top 8 berth since 2013?

Predicted Finish: 9th

Authors Note: Thanks for viewing our weekly best 17 articles. Unfortunately, this was our last one. I will be back next week with something a little different. In the meantime, give me a follow on Facebook @Rugby League Infinite or on Twitter @jhack97


      • He actually was when the knights signed him, and then injury later on saw him on the bench to finish the year

      • He played a good 8 or 9 games in a row starting before injury hampered him, during that period the knights signed him to decent money, Lillyman or Saifiti will be on the bench

      • The knights signed him while he was a starting player, like I said injury plagued him and kept him out for several weeks and when he returned, finished the year on the bench. So why would the knights sign him to decent money if hes gonna be on the bench? He would have stayed with the broncos if he was fine with being a bench player

  1. Seems like a good side on paper. Connor Watson left the Roosters to be a staring player. If he is going to be a bench player then he made the wrong move, the Roosters are on the verge to sign ex Canberra hooker Baptiste and spend some money on him which would of been a reasonable upgrade for Watson had he stayed. Now he may have to play from the bench for an eight place team instead of having a real chance at a premiership with the Roosters from the bench. Some times for a few dollars more it just is not worth it.

  2. There is no chance of Brock Lamb starting in the halves ahead of Watson and he cant play hooker so it’ll be Watson 6 Levi 14 Lamb nsw cup

  3. Herman and Watson will start the early rounds on the bench but as they gel, expect Warson to start at 6 and Lillyman to go to the bench. As Watson becomes 6 I’ll want to see Levi go on the bench over Lamb

    • Brown has already confirmed Watson is starting the year at five-eighth, they didnt sign him to over 500k to play behind Brock lamb

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