Two days after the 2017 grand final Slade Griffin has confirmed he will leave premiers Melbourne for a two-year deal with three-time wooden spooners Newcastle.
The 26-year-old becomes the fourth player in Knights history to join the NRL club directly after winning a premiership.
Michael Hagan, Ben Cross and Neville Costigan are the others since 1988.
New Zealand-born Griffin, who can play hooker and lock, was used off the bench for the last 12 minutes of Sunday’s decider in Sydney.
“I have done my apprenticeship at the Storm under Cameron [Smith] and Cooper [Cronk] and I am ready to play a bigger role with more minutes,” Griffin told Knights media.
“The Knights is a great club and I am looking forward to playing a big part in the team.
“I am also looking forward to the lifestyle in Newcastle; I’m from a small mining town in New Zealand, so it will be great to come up there and help continue to rebuild the club.”
Knights football manager Darren Mooney said Griffin, who has undergone three knee surgeries in four seasons, would be a great addition to the squad.
“Slade will provide versatility and leadership,” Mooney said.
“He will have a great opportunity to really cement a position and further his development as a player.”
Following title celebrations with Melbourne this week Griffin will have some time off before arriving in Newcastle next month for Knights’ pre-season training.