Promising Knights forward Christian Ma’anaima has signed a new three-year deal with the club following an impressive 2020 season in their Jersey Flegg squad.

The 19-year-old was heralded by Knights’ recruitment manger Alex McKinnon, who was delighted by the signing.

“From a young age Christian has been extremely focused,” McKinnon said.

“He’s a big body and very diligent with his game. He has a good understanding of what he needs to do to make it as a Knight.

“He’s been part of our system since 15 with a dream to play NRL and this contract gives him the opportunity to pursue that dream.”

Ma’anaima joined the Knights’ development squad after moving from across the Tasman at the age of 15.

Newcastle Academy coach Scott Dureau added it was an easy decision for the club to make.

“Christian joined us as part of our Harold Matthews team who won the competition in 2017,” he said.

“He’s a big front rower with a strong ball carry and offload.

“He’s a real competitor who works hard and has a bright future, that’s for sure.”