The Newcastle Knights are reportedly working to extend the contract of a key piece of their forward pack as he runs off-contract at the end of next season.

Ever since joining the Knights from the Canberra Raiders at the start of 2022, Leo Thompson has been a standout performer for the club, where he managed 54 appearances.

His great form over the past few seasons also saw him called up to the New Zealand Kiwi for last year's end-of-year Pacific Championships, where they defeated Australia in the Final.

Able to negotiate with rival clubs from November 1, the Knights are attempting to extend his contract with the club and have stepped up contract negotiations, per The Newcastle Herald.

The rumours come after Thompson inked a three-year contract extension with the club in 2022 until the end of the 2025 NRL season.

“Leo has been a great find for the club,” head coach Adam O'Brien said at the time.

“His contribution in his debut season has been enormous, especially considering his inexperience in rugby league, let alone the number of games and the quality of his performances at NRL level.

“He has earned the respect of the playing group with his drive, determination, and willingness to get the job done for his teammates.

“I believe we have only scratched the surface, we don't know what his ceiling might be, what I do know is his best football is still in front of him and that is very exciting.”

Super Rugby Pacific Rd 13 - Chiefs v Hurricanes
HAMILTON, NEW ZEALAND - MAY 20: Tyrone Thompson and John Ryan of the Chiefs talk after winning the round 13 Super Rugby Pacific match between Chiefs and Hurricanes at FMG Stadium Waikato, on May 20, 2023, in Hamilton, New Zealand. (Photo by Michael Bradley/Getty Images)

The Newcastle Herald also reports that Leo's brother Tyrone Thompson will join the Newcastle Knights on a development contract next season.

It is understood that the Knights were hoping he would be given an early release from his contract with the Waikato Chiefs in the Super Rugby competition before June 30, but that will not happen.

The 24-year-old has been linked with a cross-code switch to rugby league ever since November last year when ARLC Chairman Peter V'landys announced that NRL teams would be given dispensation to their salary cap to attract talent from the 15-man code.

The Chiefs forward earned himself representative honours after touring with the All Blacks and Maori All Blacks in 2022. He has also played for Wellington, Hawke's Bay, and the Chiefs.