Promising North Queensland talent Jake Clifford will remain in Townsville next NRL season before leaving for Newcastle on a two-year deal.
The long-touted deal was confirmed on Tuesday, although the Knights were unable to secure an immediate release and will have to wait until 2022 for Clifford’s services.
The classy five-eighth excelled in Queensland’s junior teams but has struggled to bed down a regular NRL berth in a 35-game career with the Cowboys stretching back to his 2018 debut.
After a season under new Cowboys coach Todd Payten, the Knights hope he’ll click alongside veteran halfback Mitchell Pearce and electric fullback Kalyn Ponga.
“When the opportunity arose to sign Jake, I thought it was a perfect fit for both parties,” Newcastle recruitment boss Clint Zammit said.
“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.”