nib Newcastle Knights coach Nathan Brown said the signing of Mitchell Pearce on a four-year deal is a great coup for the Club.

With more than 200 NRL games notched up for the Sydney Roosters, Brown is delighted to welcome a player of such calibre to the Club.

“Mitchell is probably a player who is in the prime of his career,” said Brown.

“He's a regular for NSW, he has won a grand final and consistently played finals footy for most of his career... so it is not every day the Knights get to make a signing as good as Mitchell and it will certainly play a big part in our redevelopment of the Club.”

The signing will heat up competition in the halves for 2018, with Pearce, Brock Lamb, Connor Watson, Trent Hodkinson and Jack Cogger all vying for a starting spot.

“We have got some options there and there’s been lots of talk about Brock, but he is a big part of our future and whether we can keep Brock long term, only time will tell,” Brown said.

“We would certainly like to keep Brock and we’ve got Jack Cogger who is a good young player, who has been a little bit forgotten about amongst all this.

“We are very confident Jack is going to develop into a good player and then we’ve got Connor who we brought into the Club because we were looking for a running six type player.

“Connor can also play fullback if Kalyn got injured so this just gives us a little bit of scope for movement since the first time that I’ve been here.”

The Knights coach admits Pearce, who is an experienced State of Origin player, will not only be there to help the team but to guide the younger halves in their development.

“It is certainly one of the youngest spines by a long way,” explained Brown.

“Mitch coming in not only helps them from an on-field point of view but he’s also such a great trainer and can offer them a lot of guidance away from the field.