BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 16: Tevita Pangai of the Broncos takes on the defence during the round 23 NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Suncorp Stadium on August 16, 2018 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Newcastle Knights coach Nathan Brown has revealed that the club is targeting off-contract Broncos forward Tevita Pangai Jr., as reported by The Courier Mail.

Brown confirmed the club’s interest for the young star on Wednesday, renewing the rivalry with Brisbane and super coach Wayne Bennett that ignited earlier in the year.

The Knights mentor recently met with Pangai Jr. in Newcastle, who has connections to the city, having played for South Newcastle Lions and in their lower grades as a 15-year old.

“I’m interested in Tevita,” Brown told The Courier Mail. 

“Tevita is a Newcastle boy and he knows this area well, so he would be a great player for us to get.

“We’re going through the process at the moment. We’ve told Tevita we are definitely interested in him.

“We are prepared to make him an offer, but first we need to know if Tevita wants to leave the Broncos and he is also in a management dispute, so it’s hard for any club to negotiate with him at the moment.

“But we’d love to have him here. Tevita can add some real aggression to our pack.”

Pangai Jr. will make a call on his future in November when he officially cuts ties with his management, with Broncos confident of retaining the Tongan international.

And Brown conceded it would be hard to lure him out of Brisbane.

“Tevita is playing great footy at Brisbane and seems like he is reasonably happy, so it will be hard to get him out of that,” Brown said.

“Brisbane will no doubt do their sums. They have so many good players and that’s the challenge for any club to keep their stars.

“We have some room in the cap. We are more interested in the type of player Tevita is rather than the position he plays. I would want him on the field for as long as possible because he is just such an impact player.”

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