Broncos coach Wayne Bennett says prop Herman Ese'ese has signed with Newcastle Knights.

ON BOARD: Heavyweight Brisbane prop Herman Ese'ese is set to bolster Newcastle's engine-room next season.

ON BOARD: Heavyweight Brisbane prop Herman Ese'ese is set to bolster Newcastle's engine-room next season.

BRISBANE coach Wayne Bennett has upstaged Newcastle’s plans of announcing the signing of the promising prop Herman Ese’ese next week.

“He's going to Newcastle. He's going,” Bennett said after training on Friday.

“He's done great but that's how the salary cap works. He was looking for a little bit more income and we couldn't match that.”

Meanwhile, there was speculation that the Knights have agreed to terms with Roosters utility Connor Watson.

Watson had attracted a big offer from Wests Tigers but Newcastle have reportedly beaten them by securing the Central Coast junior to a three-season deal.

Ese’ese is also understood to have signed for three years. The Auckland-born 22-year-old has played in 23 NRL games, including his one-off debut for Canterbury two years ago.

This season he has made 14 top-grade appearances for Brisbane and is averaging more than 100 attacking metres each game.

When he was dropped to the Broncos’ feeder club, Souths Logan, last weekend, there was speculation that Bennett would not be picking him again.

TARGET: Connor Watson.

TARGET: Connor Watson.

But the veteran coach said the 110-kilogram battering ram would still play a role before he departs.

“He’s injured,” Bennett said. “He got injured playing for Souths on the weekend. He would be playing against Newcastle [at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday] if he was fit, but he's not.

“With rehab it will probably be another two weeks before he is back. He did a medial last Sunday.”

Knights fans will get a chance to run their eyes over another likely recruit in Brisbane centre Tautau Moga, who is also understood to have agreed to terms with Newcastle.

Moga will line up on Brisbane’s left edge and is expected to mark Queensland Origin hero Dane Gagai.

Gagai did not join in Newcastle’s captain’s run on Friday, opting instead for a massage and recovery session.

But he is expected to be cleared to take his place at right-side centre.

The Broncos will rest Queensland forwards Matt Gillett and Josh McGuire but will welcome back elusive five-eighth Anthony Milford, who has been sidelined for five weeks with a shoulder injury that will need surgery at season’s end.

“Anthony is back. We hope it all goes well. He's done everything right with his rehab and he's as fit as we can get him. It's just a matter of getting out there and playing,” Bennett said.

“There's no risk involved because he has to have an operation at the end of the season anyway so hopefully he gets through it. If not, well we've lost nothing.”

Bennett said Gillett and McGuire had earned a rest after Wednesday night’s Origin decider. “Physically and emotionally they are pretty drained," he said.

But the veteran coach said the 110-kilogram battering ram would still play a role before he departs.

“He’s injured,” Bennett said. “He got injured playing for Souths on the weekend. He would be playing against Newcastle [at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday] if he was fit, but he's not.

“With rehab it will probably be another two weeks before he is back. He did a medial last Sunday.”

Knights fans will get a chance to run their eyes over another likely recruit in Brisbane centre Tautau Moga, who is also understood to have agreed to terms with Newcastle.

Moga will line up on Brisbane’s left edge and is expected to mark Queensland Origin hero Dane Gagai.

Gagai did not join in Newcastle’s captain’s run on Friday, opting instead for a massage and recovery session.

But he is expected to be cleared to take his place at right-side centre.

The Broncos will rest Queensland forwards Matt Gillett and Josh McGuire but will welcome back elusive five-eighth Anthony Milford, who has been sidelined for five weeks with a shoulder injury that will need surgery at season’s end.

“Anthony is back. We hope it all goes well. He's done everything right with his rehab and he's as fit as we can get him. It's just a matter of getting out there and playing,” Bennett said.

“There's no risk involved because he has to have an operation at the end of the season anyway so hopefully he gets through it. If not, well we've lost nothing.”

Bennett said Gillett and McGuire had earned a rest after Wednesday night’s Origin decider.

“Physically and emotionally they are pretty drained," he said.

“They have to play again on Thursday night so I thought it would be pretty unfair to give them three games in seven days … after the first two games they were adamant they would play but they didn't even argue with this one.”

TARGET: Tautau Moga.

TARGET: Tautau Moga.

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