NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 15: Connor Watson of the Newcastle Knights in action during round one NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks at McDonald Jones Stadium on March 15, 2019 in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)

The Newcastle Knights have confirmed only four players will be exiting the Hunter-based club at the end of the 2021 season.

While Josh King (Melbourne Storm) and Connor Watson (Sydney Roosters) will remain in the NRL, the other duo of Gehamat Shibasaki and Blake Green have played their final NRL games.

Green will retire on the back of injuries which have de-railed the back-end of his career, while Shibasaki is reportedly set to join Japanese rugby union.

Shibasaki isn't the only NRL player reportedly about to jet off to the northern hemisphere, with Parramatta Eels' winger Blake Ferguson also supposedly set to link up with the NEC Green Rockets and former Wallabies coach Michael Cheika.

While the Knights only listed the four departures this evening, it's intriguing to note Phoenix Crossland, Tex Hoy, Edrick Lee and Enari Tuala are all still with the club and off-contract at the end of this season.

Knights youngster Tex Hoy (Image: NRL.com)

There have been no announcements about the quartet of Knights' players extending their deals to stay in the Hunter, or speculation about where else they may end up. It can be safely assumed given the four weren't included in this evening's announcement that they are still locked in negotiations with the club about extending their stay.

Of the four players departing, only Watson and King were regular first graders throughout the 2021 season, with Watson finding a home at lock, while King spent much of the season coming off the bench in Adam O'Brien's middle third rotation.

Green spent much of the season injured, while Shibasaki had a horror run during his limited games in first grade this season.

The Knights have thus far been quiet in the player market for 2022, only adding Adam Clune and Dane Gagai to the squad, while it's thought Chris Randall and Jack Johns will receive upgrades to top-30 deals.

 

1 COMMENT

  1. You’d have to think those 4 young guys (maybe not Lee) would be in their best 25 – 30 at least. Especially Tuala, he has finished off strong. Crossland and Hoy were touted as the future of the club not tlong ago.

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