The Newcastle Knights are confident rookie prop Sam Anderson is on the verge of re-signing with the club but admit that securing St George Illawarra Dragons forward Adam Cuthbertson is not proving as straightforward.
Anderson, Newcastle’s under-20 player of the year, had been weighing up offers from Newcastle and the Penrith Panthers after being approached by Panthers supremo Phil Gould recently.
Knights chief executive Matt Gidley was optimistic yesterday that the former Kurri first-grader would agree to a one-season extension with his home-town club.
‘‘It’s just about done,’’ Gidley said.
‘‘[Strategic-development manager] Keith Onslow has been working back and forth with Sam’s player-agent, and we’re looking forward to getting him signed and adding him to a full-time squad next season.’’
Cuthbertson has been tipped for months to follow former Dragons coach Wayne Bennett to Newcastle.
But Gidley said that was uncertain and any possible deal hinged on contracted forward Con Mika leaving the Knights, thereby freeing up funds under the salary cap.
Mika has been linked to English club Hull Kingston Rovers, who will be coached next season by former Knights assistant coach Craig Sandercock.
‘‘We’re still finalising things with players who might be leaving, so until we’ve done that we can’t look at bringing anyone else,’’ Gidley said.
‘‘I believe Con is looking at some options in the UK, and until that is finalised, we can’t entertain bringing anyone else into the squad.’’