The Newcastle Knights today confirmed the recruitment of Jake Clifford on a two-year deal starting in 2022.
The talented playmaker will join the Hunter-based organisation at the conclusion of the final season of his contract with the North Queensland Cowboys.
Debuting in 2018, Clifford started at five-eighth for the Prime Minister’s XIII in their 34-16 win over Papua New Guinea after just six first grade games.
A former Queensland under-20 representative and 2017 Holden Cup Player of the Year, he has matured into a classy ballplayer in a career, which now stretches to 35 NRL matches.
Knights’ head of recruitment Clint Zammit said he could not wait to see Clifford link with the club.
“When the opportunity arose to sign Jake, I thought it was a perfect fit for both parties,” he explained.
“We believe he will grow alongside the likes of Mitchell Pearce, both as a player and as a person.
“He’s a good young talent from a good family and will be a great addition to both our playing group and the Knights for a long time.”
Clifford remains contracted to the Cowboys for 2021, with his Knights arrangement effective for at least the 2022 and 2023 seasons.
His signing follows hot on the heels of Newcastle securing the services of NSW State of Origin forward Tyson Frizell, Huddersfield’s Dominic Young, former Wests Tigers and Canterbury Bulldogs prop Sauaso Sue, England recruit Bailey Hodgson and Matthew Johns’ son Jack on a development deal.
Popular team members Connor Watson and Josh King have also opted to go around again for the Knights after extending their respective contracts.
The club is still talking to skipper Michael Pearce about his future.