NRL Rd 4 - Bulldogs v Rabbitohs
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 02: Jack Hetherington of the Bulldogs looks on during the round four NRL match between the Canterbury Bulldogs and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Stadium Australia, on April 02, 2021, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Newcastle has reportedly won a four-club race to secure the services of Canterbury forward Jack Hetherington, with the Knights said to be readying themselves to offer the 25-year-old a three-year deal.

The Canberra-born prop's impending departure from Belmore comes off the back of Trent Barrett's departure in the wake of Magic Round and club GM Phil Gould's statements that the cellar dwellers would be shaking up their roster once more.

According to reports from News Corp, the Knights have beaten out the Titans, Cowboys and Dragons to catch the attention of Hetherington, who still currently holds a mutual option with the Bulldogs for the 2023 season.

Though it appears unlikely that the Dogs will utilise their trigger, Hetherington is said to be willing to offer the competition strugglers one final opportunity to sweeten any prospective extension before putting pen to paper with the Hunter region franchise.

Hetherington has reportedly already met with Knights' coach Adam O'Brien about joining his pack from 2023 and beyond.

The forward's impending signature is sure to delight the embattled steward, with the prospect of potentially inking Adam Elliott to a similar deal affording him another chance to raise some of the weight currently worn by his shoulders.

While agreeing to a deal with the Bulldogs worth $500,000 a season ahead of the 2021 season, public suggestions claim that Canterbury's major selling point to Hetherington was that he would be afforded the opportunity to play under Trent Barrett.

And with Barrett, as well as Brent Naden, heading for the exits within the space of the past week, it appears a near certainty that the former Panther and Warrior will be joining the pair in parting with the blue and white side.