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)

The Wests Tigers are reportedly set to make a play for off-contract Newcastle Knights utility Connor Watson.

Watson, who has publically expressed he will test the open market before signing on for the 2022 season, has held recent meeting at the Knights about his future, according to The Australian journalist Brent Read, who revealed the news on Triple M.

“The Knights had a meeting with Connor Watson scheduled for last week and that meeting went ahead with Newcastle about his future,” Read said.

“He is off-contract at the end of this year and the Knights are confident they will keep him, but they are bracing for other clubs to come in for him.

It's understood the 25-year-old was disappointed with his original offer from the Knights, although that offer has since been revised.

RELATED: Watson seeking options elsewhere after baulking at contract offer

Read reports that the Knights believe the Tigers will make a play for Watson in an attempt to replace the potentially departing Moses Mbye.

It has been reported heavily during the week that Mbye will depart at the end of the season for the St George Illawarra Dragons. It's also understood the Dragons wanted to make the deal happen before the August transfer deadline, but couldn't get it across the line.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 30: John Sutton of the Rabbitohs tackles Moses Mbye of the Tigers during the round 25 NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium on August 30, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

“The club they think is going to make a move for Connor Watson is the Wests Tigers and the reason for that is Moses Mbye is currently at the Wests Tigers filling that utility role," Read said on Triple M.

“He is headed to the Dragons next year and the Knights thought whichever club didn’t have Moses Mbye next year would make a play for Connor Watson out of the Tigers and the Dragons.

“It is going to the be Tigers. The Knights are still confident they will keep Watson, but they are concerned.

“They are looking over their shoulders and they expect the Tigers to make a move sooner rather than later for Connor Watson."

Watson is approaching 100 first grade appearances, and has played every game so far this season for Adam O'Brien's side.

The utility has only started seven games however, with three appearances at five-eighth, and a further four at lock. He was a late demotion to the bench in last night's tight win over the Brisbane Broncos, but still played 51 minutes.


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