NRL Rd 11 - Raiders v Rabbitohs
CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - JULY 25: Jack Johns of the Rabbitohs warms up prior to the round 11 NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at GIO Stadium on July 25, 2020 in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

It’s a homecoming of sorts for Jack Johns, with the Newcastle Knights signing him on a two-year development contract ahead of the 2021 NRL season.

The Johns name has been synonymous with Newcastle in recent times.

His father, Matty Johns, played 176 games for the Knights in the 1990s and his uncle, Andrew, named an ‘Immortal’ of rugby league, playing 249 games for the Knights across 1993-2007.

The 23-year old was a part of Newcastle’s Holden Cup team in 2017, playing 24 games for the Knights as well as representing Italy in the World Cup.

The past two seasons have seen Johns play at South Sydney, eventually breaking in for his first NRL game in round 11 against Canberra.

He played one other game before being released by the Rabbitohs.

Newcastle’s general manager of football Danny Buderus told the club website that he was excited about having Johns back home.

“Jack has developed both physically and as a footballer, while being much different shape to Matty and Andrew,” he said.

“His transition into a ball-playing middle forward with good footwork will provide a skill set which adds to the depth of our squad.”

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