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Ex-Castleford Tigers man set to drop down pecking order as club close in on signing

The Newcastle Knights have been making headlines recently with regards to their pursuit of Super League players.

It was recently confirmed that Huddersfield Giants youngster Will Pryce would be leaving the club for the NRL in 2024 and would be joined at the Knights by Wigan Warriors star Kai Pearce-Paul at the end of the up coming Super League season.

They already have a Huddersfield Giants youngster in their squad in the shape of England star Dom Young who has developed into a superb winger at the Knights coming through reserve grade to be a top notch NRL flyer. They are also said to be preparing a new deal for Young.

Alongside Young is former Castleford Tigers youngster Bailey Hodgson. The fullback made one appearance for the Tigers in 2020 against Hull KR prior to joining the Knights.

He is yet to feature in an NRL game for the club and has struggled with injuries during his time down under.

There had been rumours that Castleford were considering a move to bring him back to the Jungle but it now seems his NRL career is about to get off the ground as he was confirmed as being part of Newcastle’s all important top 30 for 2023.

The top 30 is an important accolade for any player hoping to play in the NRL and Hodgson has been confirmed as part of the Knights’ as they prepare for the new season.

It was then been revealed by Adam O’Brien of the Knights on SEN Radio that Hodgson has been training at fullback as the Knights look for a fullback to allow Kayln Ponga to join Hastings in the halves for 2023.

This was a major step in the right direction for the young Englishman. Dane Gagai and Tyson Gamble have also been training at fullback. But Hodgson, as a natural in the position, has a strong chance of cementing a place there.

However, his hopes of starting the first game there have been dealt a blow with near confirmation that the Knights’ pursuit of Cronulla Sharks fullback Lachlan Miller is nearly done and dusted

“They are about to solve the biggest problem at the club, which is finding an NRL fullback,” notorious journalist Phil Rothfield said on the Big Sports Breakfast.

“There’s been talk in the off-season with Kalyn Ponga moving to five-eighth that Dane Gagai, Tyson Gamble or even Bailey Hodgson would have to wear the No.1 jersey in Round 1.

“I can tell you that Lachlan Miller, the former Australian Sevens star, will be the fullback for the Knights in the opening round of the season.”

Miller’s deal will be finalised over the next fortnight, allowing the 28-year-old Rugby Sevens convert to join his new club for the 2023 season, according to News Corp.

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