SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 26: Kurt Mann of the Dragons breaks the tackle of Matt Frawley of the Bulldogs during the round 24 NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Canterbury Bulldogs at UOW Jubilee Oval on August 26, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

The Newcastle Knights’ plan to acquire under contract utility Kurt Mann from St George Illawarra has been delayed due to uncertainty surrounding the long-term future of Dragons playmaker Gareth Widdop.

Mann asked the Dragons for a release which would see him join the Knights on a three-year deal where he would be playing a hooking role, which the club is still confident will come to fruition.

Before the Dragons sign any release papers, the club are looking to secure an outside back to replace Mann.

The Dragons were negotiating with out off-contract Parramatta Eels player Jarryd Hayne until he was charged with sexual assault just over a week ago. The issue has been further complicated by Widdop’s desire to return to England to play in the Super League at the end of the 2019 season.

Knights player list manager Troy Pezet admitted the club is watching the development at the Dragons closely but remains comfortable with Newcastle’s position.

“It is still a wait and see process for us and there is no real urgency from our end,” he told The Newcastle Herald

“I’m not too sure about the situation with Widdop but the market seems to be changing every day. It was [David] Klemmer and Napa on Monday and today it’s Shaun Johnson and Widdop.”

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“We’ll just sit back and see how it plays out.”

“The Dragons are obviously looking for an outside back as a replacement for Kurt and are well aware that he wants to take up an opportunity to potentially secure a first grade spot in another position.”


  1. Unless dragons can find a winger they should keep Mann to fill McDonald’s role. He did very well on the wing in 2016, was leading try scorer for the team from only about 12 games. But he has to cut his loose carries. No use having fancy footwork and making a big break if you always lose the ball in the tackle.

    • Actively & openly encouraging players to break contracts is very distasteful.

      They seem to be proud of this tactic at present – apparently illegal under current NRL rules, yet no consequences at present.

      Hello Todd – asleep at the wheel. NRL fix this farce now!!!

      • Explain where and when they have encouraged a player to break a contract? Klemmer told the club multiple times he wanted to leave before the Knights got involved. And they only did after the Dogs gave Klemmer permission to talk to other clubs.

      • So Phoenix are you still talking about the Knights or the Roosters trying to talk Crichton into jumping ship for the 2018 season?

        Since Newcastle seems to be the retirement village for “old Roosters” I wonder if that’s where Woody is “cooped” up these days?

        • One Bulldog and 4 Roosters at the Knights and 1 Rooster and 1 maimed seagull at the Dogs!

          Welcome to “Animal Farm”. 😂😂😂

    • If Ponga and Pearce were mediocre this year then I can’t wait for some of the other players going to the Knights to play mediocre as well.

  2. The NRL will never punish them because it’s in the NRL’S best interest that Newcastle succeed, money talks and everything else doesn’t mean 💩

  3. Lol how much money do they have left? They have more than a handful of quality players on big money deals now and have upgraded the likes of Fitzgibbon etc for a few years also. Starting to join Melbourne, broncos and goosters in the no cap club

  4. I thought this post was about Kurt Mann joining Newcastle? Some of you jiberers must enjoy seeing your name on this site, otherwise why do you post so many irrelevant comments? For those of you who are interested in Kurt Mann, I think going to the Knights would be a good career move for him. As we know, he hasn’t been able to gain a regular first grade spot with the Dragons, and this opportunity would be the best he’s had in his career if it eventuates.

    The Dragons have lost 3 young backs in the off-season (Garrick, Herbert and Johns) and haven’t replaced them. Why not? If they go into next season without any depth in the back-line, guess what? Its going to be that same old same old story….

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