After the departure of legendary coach Wayne Bennett and the customary lurch he leaves every club in, the Knights have experienced some extremely dark days in the past few seasons, typified by three wooden spoons in a row they gained from 2015-2017.

However, off the back of a bumper two-year recruitment drive and some harsh lessons for their young squad, things are starting to look up in the Hunter, with the Knights hitting a purple patch of five wins in a row. While the squad they have at their disposal is impressive, they have let go of a fair share of talent in the past few seasons that Nathan Brown would no doubt love to have at his disposal currently.

Here are the top 10 players the Knights have let go, not re-signed or released in the last decade.


10. Robbie Rochow

Having grown up and played his junior football in Knights heartland, Maitland, Rochow moved to Melbourne at a young age in order to progress his career. He would go onto feature twice for the Storm, as well as helping them win the 2009 Toyota Cup. After failing to crack a regular spot in the Storm team Rochow would sign a 1-year contract to return home to Newcastle in 2012.

Over the next two seasons, he would go onto establish himself as a favourite under Wayne Bennett on the Knights edge, applying his traditional low tackling technique and gangly running style to great effect. His consistent form resulted in a selection in the 2014 Country Origin squad, as well as being anointed co-captain ahead of the 2016 season.

During his time at the Knights, Rochow represented his hometown club on 72 occasions, however consistent injuries would go onto blight his progression in Newcastle and he was forced to leave for greener pastures in the form of a contract with South Sydney in 2017.

Rochow would go onto struggle again with injuries in short stints at Souths and the Storm, before signing with the Wests Tigers to play under Michael Maguire for 2018. Rochow impressed in pre-season and earned a starting spot for round 1 and has typified the no-frills approach that Michael Maguire has instilled in his squad over the past two seasons, employing his now bigger frame and astute running lines when called upon.

NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 19: Robbie Rochow of the Knights runs the ball during the round three NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Canberra Raiders at Hunter Stadium on March 19, 2016 in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images)


  1. Not much there is a great loss I would have thought except maybe Tariq Sims. He’s been good at Saints but not quite like at NQ before the broken legs – at that time I thought was almost Tallis/Ben Kennedy-like. Nothing against Sims, but horrific injuries like his take their toll. Boyd wasn’t that great at Newcastle – I thought Saints got the best years out of him and he hasn’t been as good back at Brisbane as he was at Kogarah/WIN. I don’t count Buderus as a loss – he’d just reached the end of a great career at Newie (brilliant work Saints – he trialled with us and we knocked him back, just like we passed on Thurston – nice one Peter Doust).

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