The Newcastle Knights will bolster their roster with mid-season recruit Jake Clifford joining the club next week.

The halfback is expected to play one final game for the North Queensland Cowboys before joining the Knights ahead of Round 13.

This move will allow Clifford to debut for the Knights as early as their June 6 matchup against the Paramatta Eels.

Knight's recruitment boss Clint Zimmerman spoke with The Newcastle Herald providing an update on the Clifford situation.

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"We had already signed Jake for the next two seasons and it's no secret after Mitch [Pearce] went down we were keen to get him here early if at all possible," he said.

"A few things had to fall into place for that to happen and they have so it's just a matter of finalising things now.

"The Cowboys want him to play for them next Friday night [against the Warriors] but he'll come down to Newcastle that weekend and have a full week of training leading into the game against Paramatta."

TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 27: Kalyn Ponga of the Knights is tackled by Jake Clifford of the Cowboys during the round 20 NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Newcastle Knights at 1300SMILES Stadium on July 27, 2018 in Townsville, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

The mid-season recruiting doesn't end there however, with Newcastle looking to bring in the cavalry after their 4-7 start.

Club officials are reportedly moving closer to finalising a deal for the controversial Brisbane Bronco Matthew Lodge, the Newcastle Herald reports. Once completed, the prop will join the club immediately.

The deal is expected to be signed in the upcoming week and would allow him to also debut against the Eels. The Broncos will still be paying half of Lodge's $800,000-a-year salary.

In his interview with The Newcastle Herald, Zimmerman refused to comment on the potential signing of Broncos prop.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 08: Matthew Lodge of the Broncos looks on during the round one NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Brisbane Broncos at UOW Jubilee Oval on March 8, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

With only one available spot in the 30-man roster, the Knights will need to move another play on order to fit both into their squad.

One option raised a few weeks ago was a swap with out-of-form Knight David Klemmer.  The swap would provide both players the opportunity to re-ignite their seasons, after a disappointing beginning of the year.

When asked about the player swap, however, it was news to Klemmer.

“Me and (coach Adam O’Brien) have a great relationship. He’s rubbished it, there’s nothing there," he said.

There have been other rumours surrounding veteran playmaker Blake Green. After struggling in his return from a knee reconstruction, his future remains unclear.

While the on-field potential of the Lodge and Clifford signings might be tantalising, fan responses haven't been that positive.

Knights fans have jumped to social media to voice their disapproval of adding Lodge to the list.

While angering fans, the move could leap Newcastle into the finals hunt. Despite their midseason record, the Knights still find themselves just one win out of the top 8.

North Queensland isn't leaving empty-handed, with the move allowing the Cowboys to get their hands on 2022 signing Tom Dearden a year early.

The moves for Brisbane would also free up the space to sign Billy Walters this season. This would be a homecoming for Walters, allowing him to join his father and coach of the Broncos Kevin Walters.


  1. Swap Lodge for Klemmer
    Klemmer makes 850k, Lodge is signed on 800k, so the knights would save some money.

    In turn the Broncos also do the knights a favour, allowing Deardon to leave early, which means the knights get Clifford early.

    Brissy then throw Hynes a good offer and have him sign on for next season.

    Walters can put Staggs in the halves with Reynolds with Hynes at fullback. Issako moving out to the wing to replace Coates.
    You’d have a forward pack of Haas Klemmer Carrigan Pangai Jr Riki Fleger and possibly if you have cap room make a play for Capewell.

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