Sharks back-rower heads to the Hunter region for personal reasons

Jeremy Smith

It was merely a matter of time, but the Newcastle Knights have their man – signing a 3-year deal with the Hunter-based club, following his release from the Sharks due to personal reasons.

Smith, who has won two grand finals, will play for his fourth NRL club – with prior stints at the Melbourne Storm, the St George Illawarra Dragons, the Cronulla Sharks, and now the Newcastle Knights.

Smith will once again be coached under Wayne Bennett, who was the coach at the Dragons during his 2-year stint there that saw him win the premiership in 2010 – and the experienced back-rower is looking forward to that chance again.

“I’m very excited to be joining the Newcastle Knights and I’m really looking forward to playing in front of the Club’s Members and supporters,” Smith said.

“It will be great to reunite with Wayne; I’ve played under him before and I know what he brings to the table. He’s a great coach with plenty of experience and his record speaks for itself.

“I can’t wait to join the rest of the team and get stuck into training.”

For Knight coach Wayne Bennett, he uses one word to describe the signing of Smith at the club – a coup.

“We are very fortunate to have Jeremy coming to the Club, I just didn’t think a quality player would be available,” Bennett said.

“He got an opportunity to leave Cronulla and we got an opportunity to take him; I couldn’t believe our luck.

“It is certainly one I didn’t think would happen until next year but we grabbed it as quick as we could.

Bennett is excited to work with Smith again, and believes his experience both on and off the field, will be invaluable to the club moving forward.

“We will all see what Jeremy brings on the field, but it is what he brings off the field as well,” Bennett added.

“He is a highly motivated person, great in a team environment and will help all those around him play better because of his presence.

“His actions certainly speak louder than his words, but he isn’t afraid to speak up either. He won’t tolerate teammates that aren’t giving their best.”

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