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Opinion: Knights recruitment a slap in the face to local juniors

We all know the Knights have been big on the recruitment drive as Nathan Brown tries to build a strong squad for the up and coming 2019 season.

I’ve put together what I think will more than likely be the Newcastle Knights starting side come round 1 in 2019 and what club they have been recruited from.

1. Connor Watson – Sydney Roosters

2. Hymel Hunt – South Sydney

3. Tautau Moga – Brisbane Broncos

4. Jesse Ramien – Cronulla Sharks

5. Shaun Kenny-Dowall – Sydney Roosters

6. Kayln Ponga – NQ Cowboys

7. Mitchell Pearce – Sydney Roosters

8. David Klemmer – Canterbury Bulldogs

9. Danny Levi – Knights

10. Tim Glasby – Melbourne Storm

11. Aiden Guerra – Sydney Roosters

12. Lachlan Fitzgibbon – Knights

13. Herman Ess’ese – Brisbane Broncos

As you can see I have included two Newcastle players that have come through the system from local juniors to first grade.

I also have notable admissions from other clubs some being Edrick Lee – Sharks, Mason Lino – Warriors, James Gavet – Warriors and Zac Woodford- Bulldogs.

I feel I also have to mention it’s being reported the Knights aren’t finished with their recruiting just yet.

They’re chasing Kurt Mann from the Dragons to feature as a utility and Damien Cook from South Sydney which would more than likely remove Danny Levi from the hooker role.

Leaving just Lachlan Fitzgibbon being the only Newcastle player to come through the juniors system in their 2019 side.

I’m not saying the above side will be there and in those positions come round 1 but in my opinion, I think that looks as though it could be their strongest team.

Yes, I’m missing players like the beloved Novocastrian in Nathan Ross and the likes of Sione Mata’utia and the Saifiti brothers.

I do however think they will all play a role in 2019, but spots are limited.

I wanted to highlight the fact the recruitment from the Knights has been top notch within the past few years, although it’s a big slap in the face towards the Juniors and their development.

Why would they want to stay at Newcastle and try and play for the club they grew up supporting and dreaming of playing for when you can see in the last 2 years they’ve bought an entire squad from other teams?

It’s time the NRL bring in extra incentives for devolving local juniors and loyal players.

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