Isaac De Gois
Playing future uncertain

It is the question that nobody at the Newcastle Knights seems able, or willing, to answer.

Will Isaac de Gois be at the club next season?

Two months ago it appeared a fait accompli that the rugged hooker would soon sign a three-season contract extension. The deal was reportedly all but done.

All that was needed was the rubber stamp once Nathan Tinkler assumed ownership of the club.

But just as De Gois was practising his signature, preparing to put pen to paper, the Knights produced a remarkable coup by luring Wayne Bennett to Newcastle for the next four seasons and the whole landscape appeared to change dramatically.

First came reports that Canterbury hooker Michael Ennis had a get-out clause allowing him to link with Bennett.

Bulldogs officials had no sooner poured cold water on that prospect than it was revealed in this paper that former Knights skipper Danny Buderus, who has been playing with Leeds Rhinos for the past three seasons, was pondering a return to Newcastle next season at the age of 34.

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All of which has left De Gois facing an uncertain future, to say the least.

Knights officials have skirted around the issue for weeks.

Last week his negotiations were described as ‘‘a work in progress’’ by one insider. Another suggested it was being held up by third-party sponsorship complications.

De Gois said he did not want to discuss the matter.

Yesterday, however, there were reports that De Gois is not part of Bennett’s plans for next season and is likely to sign with Cronulla, where he played before joining the Knights in 2009.

Two other Knights facing similar uncertainty did their causes no harm yesterday.

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Fijian Test captain Wes Naiqama and fullback Shannon McDonnell both scored classy tries and shone in general play.

Like De Gois, both are off contract and it remains to be seen if either will be retained, especially if the Knights, as expected, sign Dragons star Darius Boyd.

In the meantime, all they can do is continue to look their best in the shop window and hope that, regardless of whether they play any role in Wayne’s world, they at least have some bargaining power come the end of the season.

Read more at the Newcastle Herald