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When the Newcastle Knights and nib health funds celebrated a new three-year partnership in Honeysuckle on Thursday morning, it was no surprise to see Paul Harragon attending.

‘The Chief’ has been a big part of both the Club and nib over the years, and was excited by what this new agreement, in which nib becomes the Knights’ Principal partner, represents.

“They’re two iconic organisations, and I think I’ve spent most of my life with both,” a grinning Harragon told Knights TV.

“It’s a wonderful combination.”

The joint event on the Newcastle foreshore featured a giant inflatable 2017 Knights jersey, while Harragon, Knights CEO Matt Gidley and nib Group Executive Rhod McKensey addressed the media and staff from both organisations.

“The fact that nib have come in and made that partnership in a tough time for the Club, to me it’s like a line in the sand,” Harragon explained.

“When the chips are down everyone binds together, and I think it’s wonderful.”

McKensey was of a similar mind, and expressed his delight at the new partnership.

“We’ve been involved with the Knights for the last 30 years, and we have a strong commitment to the Newcastle community,” he said.

“When the opportunity came up to be the Principal sponsor of the Club, we took it with both hands.

“We hope we can lend some support that will lead to success both on and off the field for the Knights.”

The 2017 pre-season starts for the Knights next Tuesday.