NRL Rd 13 - Knights v Eels
NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 06: Simi Sasagi of the Knights warms up during the round 13 NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Parramatta Eels at McDonald Jones Stadium, on June 06, 2021, in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)

The Newcastle Knights have secured the prized signature of young gun Simi Sasagi on a new two-year deal which will keep him in the Hunter until at least the end of the 2024 season.

Originally off-contract at the end of this season, Sasagi is a versatile youngster who is rated as one of the best rising stars in the game.

Already this year he has filled plenty of gaps for Adam O'Brien, playing off the bench and starting at centre in a handful of games when the Knights faced something of a backline injury crisis.

Alongside centre, he can also play at lock forward, and has spent most of his junior playing days in the halves, where he is rated as a potential future New Zealand representative, having been named in the Junior Kiwis squad in 2019, although he didn't makle the final team with Paul Turner and Sione Moala the halves to take on an Australian Schoolboys side featuring the likes of Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, Reece Walsh, Sam Walker, Toby Sexton and Brendan Piakura.

Sasagi has been part of the Knights' system since 2017 when he ran out for the club's SG Ball side. Since then, he has worked his way through the Jersey Flegg and NSW Cup systems, although has been hampered by injury and coronavirus, as all fringe players have.

Knights head of recruitment Clint Zammit said Sasagi was continuing to develop nicely.

“Simi has made steady progression over the past year and is developing nicely,” Zammit said in a club statement.

“His skill set and versatility to play numerous positions makes him an important part of our squad.

“If he continues to apply himself and work hard, he will play a lot more NRL in the future.”

Sasagi, who has recently turned 21, will play this weekend off the bench against the Penrith Panthers.