Knights canter in to sign up Gagai
FORMER Bronco Dane Gagai could be a surprise starter against his old club on Sunday after signing with Newcastle.
The Knights announced late yesterday they had signed the talented back, sent packing by Brisbane three weeks ago after a series of disciplinary breaches, until the end of 2014.
Gagai, 21, who had signed a two-year-deal with the Broncos in March but will train with Newcastle under coach Wayne Bennett today, said he was excited to have sorted out his future.
"Wayne coached my father (Ray) and I look forward to now playing under Wayne as well," he said.
A former Queensland schoolboys rugby union representative, Gagai considered switching back to the 15-man code after being dumped by the Broncos. He was also in strong demand by a number of NRL clubs.
Bennett said he was thrilled the youngster had chosen Newcastle for his second opportunity in the NRL.
"Plenty of scouts have been trying to get Dane since he left the Broncos and it's fantastic he has chosen to come to the Knights," Bennett said.
"There is no doubting his playing ability.
"He has been a regular in the schoolboy representative teams and is highly regarded by all judges of the game.
"Dane felt the Knights were the right fit for him and we hope our environment here will allow him to reach his full ability."
Gagai played six games on the wing for the Broncos last season and scored four tries, but is capable of playing a number of positions in the backline. He has been playing for Brisbane's Queensland Cup feeder team Redcliffe Dolphins since being let go by the Broncos.
Former Broncos, Queensland and Australian star Steve Renouf said he was thrilled Gagai had been given another chance, and that Bennett was the perfect choice as mentor.
"I'm so happy for him."