NRL: Former Knight Trent Hodkinson leaves Sharks to return to Manly

FULL CIRCLE: Trent Hodkinson during his time with the Newcastle Knights. The former Origin halfback switched clubs from Cronulla to Manly on Tuesday. Picture: Marina Neil
FULL CIRCLE: Trent Hodkinson during his time with the Newcastle Knights. The former Origin halfback switched clubs from Cronulla to Manly on Tuesday. Picture: Marina Neil

Trent Hodkinson's NRL return to Manly as the answer to their five-eighth woes is complete, with the Sea Eagles signing him until the end of 2019.

A day after being released by Cronulla, Hodkinson had his Sea Eagles contract registered on Tuesday by the NRL, opening the way for him to face Melbourne on Saturday night.

Manly is Hodkinson’s third club three months, after being released from the final year of his Knights contract in February.

It will represent a return to the club where Hodkinson debuted in 2010. He had been then-coach Des Hasler's preferred halfback over Daly Cherry-Evans.

He's since won a State of Origin series for NSW and played for Canterbury and Newcastle, before heading to the Sharks last summer.

Hodkinson was named on the bench for the clash against the Storm, with Dylan Walker still in the No.6 jersey. But if he fits in at training this week he could still start at five-eighth.

Regardless, the shift means he is likely to fill injured five-eighth Lachlan Croker's jersey for the rest of the season once he establishes himself, giving Cherry-Evans a much needed experienced halves partner.

"Cherry's a great talent," Hodkinson said. "He has been for a long time and his stronger attribute is running. Hopefully, I can alleviate some pressure from Cherry and use my organisational skills to help him out, so he can be comfortable in his own game and go back to what he does best which is running."

Hodkinson's acquisition will come as a welcome relief to coach Trent Barrett, with the injury crisis deepening at the club.

Young forward Taniela Paseka will join six others in Manly's casualty ward for at least the next four weeks. Scans have revealed a high ankle sprain from Saturday's win over Brisbane.

"Trent's experience and game management will be of enormous value to us," Barrett said.

"As a person, Trent is also highly respected for the wonderful amount of work he does in the community, so he will bring plenty to the club on and off the field.

"This is a great signing for Manly."