The Newcastle Knights have continued to bolster their forward playing stocks following the re-signing of promising front-rower Josh King, as well as new acquisition Sauaso “Jesse” Sue, this week.
King, a Singleton Greyhounds junior, was rewarded with a one-year extension after a strong campaign in 2020, providing both impact and depth to the pack.
Sue, a Samoan international with 142 NRL games to his name, inked a two-year deal.
The former Wests Tigers and Canterbury Bulldogs star will link up with the Knights in time for the beginning of the 2021 pre-season.
King forced his way into the top squad midway through 2020, scoring his first career try against the Cronulla Sharks in round 17.
A home-grown talent and constant presence in the community, King’s dedication to the club will see him add to his 60 NRL matches in red and blue.
And, he’s excited to be staying in Newcastle for another 12 months.
“I am passionate about the region and the club, so I am over the moon to be staying on for another season,” King said.
“2020 was an important year in that I was able to earn my spot the hard way.
“I was really pleased to be able to play seven games and will be pushing hard to play more next season.
“I’ve been working hard since the end of the season and cannot wait to get back into pre-season training.
“I know I have a lot to offer and I thank Adam and everyone at the club for backing me to reach my full potential.”
Head coach Adam O’Brien said the new deal was a just reward for King’s hard work and resilience throughout 2020.
“Kingy’s work ethic and commitment to being the best he possibly can be is a testament to the person he is and means that he will get everything he deserves in football and in life,” he explained.
“He is a great clubman with strong ties to his community.
“He’s as genuine as they come and he is deeply committed to doing his bit for the team and doing it to the very best of his ability.”
Meanwhile, Sue – a talented and damaging middle forward who can also feature on an edge – made his mark for the Tigers in 2013, making his Test debut for Samoa in the World Cup.
The 28-year-old went on to play 116 games for Wests before shifting to the Bulldogs in 2019, adding another 16 to his career tally.
Knights head of recruitment Clint Zammit said he was pleased to secure Sue’s signature.
“Jesse adds essential elements to our playing roster, including experience and uncompromising toughness, developed over eight years playing at the top level,” he added.
“He is a highly-respected player and Samoan leader, recommended to the Knights by several highly-regarded people who fully endorse his work ethic and cultural leadership.
“He also adds another body shape we need to balance out our pack to cater for the modern game.”