THE Knights are one of several NRL clubs considering throwing former Penrith and Wests Tigers bad boy Daine Laurie a lifeline.
They have little room to move under their NRL salary cap, or the $350,000 ceiling on second-tier player payments, but the Knights have spoken to Laurie’s manager about the possibility of him trying to resurrect his once-promising career in Newcastle.
Laurie, who was part of Anthony Mundine’s entourage at the two-time world champion’s interim World Boxing Association junior-middleweight title fight at Newcastle Entertainment Centre on Wednesday night, played out the Newcastle Rugby League season with Macquarie Scorpions after being sacked by Penrith in June.
The Panthers showed the towering 27-year-old forward the door after a series of breaches of their code of conduct, but the Herald understands that his disciplinary record is not the main point of contention for the Knights.
‘‘He’s getting shopped around a little bit and we’re still talking to his manager. It’s where we’re at with the cap; that’s the main issue with us,’’ assistant coach Rick Stone said yesterday.
The Knights are still trying to squeeze former Dragons, Sharks and Sea Eagles prop Adam Cuthbertson into their NRL squad for next season, but that hinges on them finalising a deal for back-rower Con Mika to join former Knights assistant coach Craig Sandercock at Hull Kingston Rovers.
The Herald has been told the Knights have heard nothing but positive reports from Macquarie this year.
● The chance to continue his rugby league education under Wayne Bennett has convinced promising Knights prop Sam Anderson to sign a one-year contract to remain in Newcastle.
The 20-year-old West Maitland junior had been targeted by Penrith but is staying put.
“I grew up supporting the Knights and they are the team I always wanted to play for. There are good people at this club and I am also looking forward to the opportunity to be coached by Wayne Bennett,” he said.