Newcastle Knights announced the signings of Wigan Warriors star Kai Pearce-Paul and Huddersfield Giants fullback Will Pryce for 2024 almost exactly a year ago.
Now though the two have landed in Australia ahead of their exciting new chapter and Pearce-Paul arrives as a Super League Champion.
He is also an England international but withdrew from the Tonga series due to a foot issue. It now transpires he may need surgery and Newcastle are not happy to discover that he was playing a lot of last season on pain-killers as revealed by the Mole of Wide World of Sports.
“His foot has serious problems and we are still doing tests but at this early stage it doesn’t look good,” a Knights source told WWOS.
“If he needs surgery he probably won’t be fit for the early stages of the season.
“He pulled out of the Test series against Tonga hoping to get the foot right but we are getting reports that he played a lot of last season with pain-killing needles at Wigan, which we are not very happy about.
“Hopefully he can get over it and avoid the knife. We will just have to wait and see.”
So, not the ideal start to his life at Newcastle. They won’t have been expecting this either after beating competition to his signature from NRL clubs as KPP himself revealed.
“I spoke to Wayne Bennett about the Dolphins, I spoke to ‘Gus’ Gould about potentially coming to the Bulldogs at one point too,” Pearce-Paul told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“And obviously, I spoke to Adam O’Brien at Newcastle. [Gould and Bennett] didn’t put any pressure on me, they just gave me an insight on what it would look like if I was to join their club. They were [both] cool to talk to.
“It was a tough decision, but I chose Newcastle in the end. I went with my gut and I’m sure I’ve made the right decision because I’m loving it here already.”
Hopefully, Pearce-Paul won’t require surgery and will be able to start the season and be a success down under in the NRL.