Strategic Signings: Newcastle’s Imperative for Stability in 2024

The NRL silly season has officially begun, as the Finals are over and the November 1 contract deadline has passed. Smart Signings will bring sanity to the gossip and conjecture, with stats, profiles, and insights about where clubs are weak, what they need to improve, and where they might find it. No rumors, just realistic options.

Newcastle Knights coach Adam O’Brien knows the ups and downs of being an NRL coach. After a winning streak, he was extended for another year. The Knights’ success in 2023 was due to various factors. They had improved efficiency in good ball, which added points to their side. Completing passes consistently was also crucial for their success.

The team saw some departures and arrivals, but 2025 is when things could get interesting. The November 1 crew features key players like Bradman Best, Dane Gagai, and Enari Tuala, so standing still might be challenging for the Knights in 2024. In this pivotal time, the team will need to make shrewd moves to maintain their position in the league.

One area of concern is finding a winger to replace the departed Dom Young. Young’s speed and finishing ability were crucial for the Knights’ system. Their goal conversion rate was low, and Young played a significant role in their try-scoring statistics. The list of available wingers presents challenges, but potential options include Bailey Simonsson and Sunia Turuva. A marquee move would be acquiring Josh Addo-Carr, who could potentially be traded for Jacob Saifiti.

Overall, the Knights will need to make strategic decisions in the upcoming season to maintain their competitive position in the NRL.