The nib Newcastle Knights are delighted to confirm promising trio Phoenix Crossland, Jack Johns and Chris Randall have all put pen to paper and extended their time with the Club.
In a huge boost for the Club, all three players have secured their futures in red and blue ahead of the official start of pre-season training this week.
Both Johns and Randall have been upgraded from their development deals and will enter the Top 30 on two-year deals, while Crossland has committed to the Club until at least the end of the 2022 season.
All three players enjoyed strong seasons in 2021, with each managing to find the stripe at least once throughout the season.
With a high effort and hard-working mentality, Crossland has matured into a strong NRL half who looks more than comfortable in the top grade. The 21-year-old worked extremely hard at the back end of last season, putting him in a great position to hit the ground running for pre-season training this week.
Knights Head of Recruitment, Clint Zammit, said Crossland’s strong development throughout 2021 was the catalyst for his retention into the future.
“Phoenix is a local kid who has worked hard on his game throughout the year and impressed coaching staff with his attitude, particularly whilst up in Queensland,” Zammit said.
“He adds depth to our halves whilst also covering numerous positions which makes him valuable to our squad.
“He has matured on and off the field which has helped improve his game and we are excited to see him after another pre-season.”
The best of Randall so far
A popular member of the playing group, Johns finished the 2021 season with five top grade appearances, with his toughness and skill apparent in every display.
Zammit said his retention was a just reward for a terrific campaign in 2021.
“Jack is an intelligent player who can cover a variety of positions,” he said.
“He came to the club on a development contract this year and made the progression from NSW Cup to NRL quite early.
“He is a student of the game who played six NRL games in 2021. With a good pre-season, we expect him to feature a lot more in 2022.”
Incredibly fit and unbelievably durable, Randall’s continued hard work and resilience was highlighted in 2021 by a strong performance in Round 25 despite playing 70 minutes with a thumb fracture.
Zammit said Randall’s new deal is a reflection of how hard the hooker has worked over the last three seasons.
“Randy is one of the fittest and hardest working players in the squad,” Zammit said.
“Through his hard work and dedication to training, he has improved the little parts in his game. When he came into the team at stages this year, it was clearly evident he can handle NRL level.
“He is popular amongst the group and will continue to build his game over the next couple of seasons and continue to grow his contribution to the team.”