The retention of two key players by the Knights has been fostered by Lachlan Miller‘s move to the English Super League. Miller is set to join Leeds on a three-year contract from 2024.
Miller’s departure has provided the Knights with an additional $500,000 in salary cap space, with potential for more financial reprieve as Kurt Mann is eyed off by Canterbury.
Newcastle, riding high on a seven-game victory streak, is equally diligent off the field in retaining central figures such as NSW State of Origin centre Bradman Best and power-prop Jacob Saifiti.
Negotiations with Best are scheduled to kick off next week under the direction of his new manager, Warwick Wright. Miller’s acceptance of the UK offer aligns well with the timing, freeing up a substantial amount of salary cap.
Miller initially joined the Knights from Cronulla on a three-year contract as a fullback to support Kalyn Ponga‘s anticipated shift to five-eighth.
However, after Ponga moved back to fullback in round 12, Miller found himself lacking a specific role in the NRL squad. His release to Leeds is expected to take place as early as Wednesday.
The Knights also plan to secure Saifiti, despite his contract not expiring until the end of 2024. At 27, the NSW Origin prop is regarded as an essential player for the Knights’ future plans, due to his high work-rate, size and leadership.
Other than Miller’s departure, the Knights have also received financial aid to retain their prominent players, due to depth halfback Adam Clune‘s move to the English Super League.
Furthermore, Mann is considering an offer from Canterbury who are in search for a quality utility, having lost interest in Roosters‘ powerhouse Connor Watson.