The Newcastle Knights are looking to the future, with the club confirming that they’ve secured the services of English entertainers Kai Pearce-Paul and Will Pryce – but not until 2024.
The Daily Telegraph reports that Knights recruitment boss Clint Zammitt had travelled to England earlier this year to monitor the two targets in person. New Knights football boss Peter Parr confirmed the deal this week.
Just 21 years old, Pearce-Paul has been lauded as the English Sonny Bill-Williams thanks to his unique mix of size, speed and strength playing in the back row for Wigan.
Meanwhile 19-year-old Pryce has showcased his versatility at Huddersfield, playing in the halves, at fullback and from the bench with plenty of pace and excellent playmaking ability.
The Telegraph reports that the Knights had made inquiries about securing the players for next season, especially with a number of players in those positions departing – including Tex Hoy, Anthony Milford, Mitch Barnett and Sauaso Sue – but both English clubs were reluctant to accept an early release – for now.
“They are both coming in 2024,” Parr said.
“Our recruitment chief Clint Zammitt has enourmous wraps on them. One is playmaker and the other is a gun in the back row, so we’re looking forward to their arrival.”
Though both players have proven themselves in opportunities so far, the Knights are arguably taking on an inherent risk with the fact that neither recruit has played more than 35 games at the highest level.
Pryce has played just 25 games, with Pearce-Paul having played 33. While another year of Super League will see them head to the Hunter with significantly more experience in their young careers, it remains to be seen what the next 12 months holds for both parties.