Newcastle Knights speedster Enari Tuala has played just two NRL games this year as the versatile back now faces a race against the clock to secure a contract for next season.

Mostly relegated to the NSW Cup in 2023, the 68-game Knights representative hopes to find himself in one of the four open spots in Newcastle's roster in 2024, and he took his opportunity with both hands in NRL after his fellow winger Greg Marzhew was dropped.

Admitting his preference to remain in Newcastle, Tuala says his injuries early in the year definitely hurt his chances of staying in NRL but he is simply happy to have made his return.

"Definitely, I'd love to stay here," Tuala toldĀ The Newcastle Herald.

NRL Elimination Final - Eels v Knights
ROCKHAMPTON, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 12: Enari Tuala of the Knights scores a try during the NRL Elimination Final match between Parramatta Eels and Newcastle Knights at Browne Park, on September 12, 2021, in Rockhampton, Australia. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

"But I'm letting my manager handle that.

"I'm not really thinking much about it, to be honest.

"I just want to play good footy and be consistent. I'll worry about that later."

Despite his great effort in Round 16, he will be at long odds to remain in the side with Dominic Young in no danger of being dropped and Greg Marzhew likely to return following his disciplinary axing.

However, with Dominic Young heading to the Roosters in 2024, Tuala would add some much-needed depth to the Newcastle roster as he continues his auditions to become a regular first grader.

Coach Adam O'Brien said last week that the club were keen on re-signing Tuala.

"Definitely. He [Tuala] has played really well in the Cup, I'll grant Enari that. As hard as the decision was with Greg, it made it a little bit easier that Enari has come in and done a good job for us in the past. He is Mr. Dependable, he is durable. I know the club are keen to keep Enari here," O'Brien said at last week's media opportunity following the captain's run.

"Importantly, I don't know if that's his number one focus about the contract extension, he just wants to come into the team and perform his role, and everyone is excited to have him in there."

He may be hoping that recent performance where he managed 155 metres and a linebreak catch other clubs' attention if the Knights decide to look elsewhere.