NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 15: Connor Watson of the Newcastle Knights in action during round one NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks at McDonald Jones Stadium on March 15, 2019 in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)

Off-contract Knights utility Connor Watson is set to test the waters of the open market following a disappointing extension offer from Newcastle.

As reported by The Newcastle Herald's Barry Toohey, Watson has begun ringing rival NRL coaches to gauge their interest himself, as he remains without a manager.

While the Knights remain keen on prolonging Watson's stay in the Hunter Valley, their latest offer has fallen well below the 25-year-old's expectations, prompting a search for opportunities elsewhere.

Connor Watson during the round 19 NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Gold Coast Titans at McDonald Jones Stadium on July 21, 2018 in Newcastle, Australia.

Watson told The Newcastle Herald that his future could remain with the Knights, but a decision won't be made before discussing his options with rival clubs first, in order to secure the best deal possible.

"I love this club - I've grown up loving the Knights and ideally, I want to stay and win a comp here," he said.

"That could still happen. But I want to make a decision that's right for me and I want to get what I feel like I deserve.

"I'm not sure how much room the club has in the [salary] cap. They have signed a few players here on big money and we've got a heap of blokes who are wanting to re-sign at the moment so we'll have to see how it goes.

"I've been ringing some coaches at other clubs to talk to them about my situation so it's been an interesting process."

Reports emerged last month that Cronulla were considering a move for Watson, with the potential offering of a full-time role elsewhere a likely desire for the Central Coast product.

Watson has played at lock and in the halves this season, but has most commonly come off the interchange.

Following their time together at the Roosters, the close relationship with incoming Sharks coach Craig Fitzgibbon could play as a factor should Cronulla move for Watson.


  1. Where would he play though? Brailey is their #9 for 80 minutes. They just signed Cameron McInnes to play lock and he’ll play 80 minutes. Hynes will play 5/8, they need a controlling half-back.
    Don’t think Connor is #7 (or Hynes for that matter) Tracey and Trindall are both halves, can really only see him starting #14 at Cronulla, which is where he is now at the Knights.

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