Antonio Kaufusi
Leading the exodus

Former Test prop Antonio Kaufusi is set to join the exodus from the Newcastle Knights next season after being linked with a move to London Harlequins.

Knights fullback Shannon McDonnell, back-rower Constantine Mika and five-eighth Marvin Karawana are also reportedly heading to Super League next season.

Newcastle officials are trying to place a player with Leeds to avoid paying a transfer fee for hooker Danny Buderus, who has agreed to return home next season if the two clubs can come to an arrangement over the remaining year of his contract with the Rhinos.

It is not believed that Kaufusi, McDonnell, Mika or Karawana have been asked to take part in a player trade with Leeds, who are asking for up to $150,000 compensation to allow Buderus to return home to the Knights. The Rhinos want a replacement player of similar stature to Buderus, but not necessarily a hooker.

Kaufusi’s manager David Riolo recently returned from England, where he negotiated Wigan back-rower Ryan Hoffman’s return to the Melbourne Storm next season.

Riolo is believed to have also explored Super League options for Kaufusi and the former Storm and Cowboys front-rower has confirmed he is considering offers to leave the Knights, despite being under contract for next season.

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Reports from England last night said the Harlequins were set to announce the signing of Kaufusi.

McDonnell, who is off contract, and Karawana have also been linked to Super League, while Mika is considering a switch to rugby union.

Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald