THE Knights will complete their 2013 NRL campaign without Travis Waddell after releasing the four-time Indigenous All Stars hooker to his Queensland Cup club for the rest of the year.
There had been speculation about Waddell's future in the lead-up to last Sunday's transfer deadline, and Knights coach Wayne Bennett confirmed yesterday that the 23-year-old former Raiders rake would see out the season with Souths Logan.
Waddell played for Souths in their 20-12 victory over Tweed Heads Seagulls last Saturday night and Bennett said he would remain with the Magpies until he returns in November to train with the Knights as part of their full-time NRL squad for next year.
Bennett said the return of Danny Buderus from back surgery, the projected return of Kurt Gidley from a foot injury later this month, the mid-season acquisition of Craig Gower and the emergence of National Youth Cup skipper Adam Clydsdale meant Waddell had become surplus to requirements at the Knights for now.
"We've got Danny back and Kurt to come back, and we've got Craig there now that can play that position, and we're pretty comfortable with Adam as well," Bennett said.
"He's young but he's certainly shown us that he can handle things OK, so we just thought that keeping Travis would not be ideal from his point of view or ours.
"We've got a couple of young players in the NSW Cup as well, young Chad Redman and Chris Adams as well, so someone was going to miss out on playing football somewhere.
"Travis had come from Souths in Brisbane to us, we had a June 30 deadline which we had to make a decision by, so the decision was made that he was better off being up there.
"He'll come back to us in the pre-season and get on with life at the end of the season and become a full-time Knights player next year."
Bennett will monitor Waddell's progress in the Queensland Cup and review his performances for Souths Logan for the rest of the season as part of his preparation for next year.
Souths Logan signed Waddell after Canberra decided not to retain him at the end of last year.
The Knights then signed him on the eve of this season as a replacement for Buderus, who missed the kick-off recovering from the first of two lower-back operations.
The second year of Waddell's two-year deal with Newcastle was guaranteed for 2014 but included the option of him being released to Souths Logan by June 30.
Waddell played 10 games for the Knights, starting in seven. The most recent of those was in their 16-14 loss to Melbourne at AAMI Park on June 16.
Souths Logan coach Mark Beaumont said Waddell made a solid return against Tweed Heads.
"Travis was in the team for his first game back with us. He'll be with us for the rest of the year, so he will be handy for us," Beaumont said in a report on the Queensland Rugby League website.