SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 01: Chris Heighington of the Sharks is tackled during the round five NRL match between the Cronulla Sharks and the Newcastle Knights at Southern Cross Group Stadium on April 1, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt Blyth/Getty Images)

The Newcastle Knights have announced the signing of experienced forward and two-time premiership winner Chris Heighington to the club for season 2018.

Signed on a one-year contract, Heighington made his NRL debut playing for the West Tigers in 2003 and notched up 201 NRL games before linking with the Cronulla Sharks in 2013, to continue on to 317 NRL matches this year.

An English international since 2011, Heighington has been selected in the England squad for this year’s Rugby League World Cup in late October.

“I grew up on the Central Coast and always liked the Knights and I remember watching the 1997 and 2001 grand finals, so it just made sense,” said Heighington.

“There are some great young kids coming through the system and hopefully I can help out just as much off the field to see them grow as players.”

General Manager Football Darren Mooney said Heighington will bring valuable experience to the Club.

“Chris’ professionalism and his knowledge of the game will be a great asset to the Knights,” said Mooney.

“He will be able to provide strong leadership to our young players and will be able to assist in their development both on and off the field.”

Heighington will start with the Club following his Rugby League World Cup commitments.

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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
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    • They must be after young backs and old forwards? Good team balance.

      In all seriousness, Newcastle’s recruitment drive has been quite good. Heighington will be there for experience to the younger guys I imagine and will add to the forward depth.

      • Possibly but IMO I think he is 2 years past his NRL expiry date. He should be playing in England by now.

        • Still averaging 90 metres and 14 tackles in around 30 minutes a game. Will be solid and good for kids like the Saifitis, King, Ese’ese to learn some good habits at training and off the field

  1. Why? They just signed Lillyman and Guerra to bring in experiance. Only reason I see why is for some first grade depth at prop for 20 mins once a month

  2. Chris is one of the nicest and most professional players I have ever met. They will get their moneys worth both on and off the field.

  3. He was solid 2016 – pretty good 2017… as some one said above, newy could do a lot worse.
    The Brown man will inject him into the game at the right times to keep or hold momentum. I can see Newy doing well this year, outside backs with youth and talent / forwards with some mongrel and a mix of youth and experience.

    Lets be honest, you would have to be excited as a newy fan after the last 3 consecutive spoons – thats pure pain.

  4. I think this is a good signing. Was probably signed on peanuts with TPAs. Just his presence at training will be good for the young guys.

    I really hope the Knights don’t get the spoon again…

  5. I’m not particularly carried away by this signing. He’s been solid in the past but he’s hardly a Luke Lewis these days. He could be another Tupou who didn’t add much to Newie. I’d love to be proved wrong, we’ll see… It’s a good addition to the Heighington superannuation fund.

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