The Newcastle Knights confirmed a while back that he would be departing and today, the South Sydney Rabbitohs have confirmed the signing of versatile utility back, Dane Gagai.
At 26, Gagai has 124 NRL games to his name – most of which have come for the Knights – although his debut was with the Brisbane Broncos in 2011.
In good form for the Knights, Gagai has played in 5 games for Queensland and his experience is crucial for the Souths side and particularly their back-line.
“Dane is one of the best outside backs in the competition and he has played plenty of football at the elite levels of the game in a variety of positions across the backline,” Coach Maguire said.
“His ability and versatility on the field will be matched by the experience he will be able to bring to the young backs in our squad off the field, plus he has the added experience of putting in the hard work to reach State of Origin level at this stage of his career.
Gagai is talented on the field but also works with Indigenous communities in the off-field department, a trait that Souths pride themselves on given their programs and community initiatives.
“In our discussions with Dane, he’s demonstrated that he’s willing to come to our Club and work hard to bring success to the team, he’s a man of great character and has leadership qualities that he will bring to the Club too,” continued Maguire.
“He’s also very active in the Indigenous community and he will fit in well with the community programs and initiatives run by Souths Cares.
“We wish Dane the best of luck as he finishes off this season with Newcastle and we look forward to having him join our squad for the 2018 pre-season.”
An earlier Knights statement pointed out that they were disappointed but understood the decision.
“We are obviously disappointed that Dane has decided to leave the club, but we respect the decision he has made with his family,” said Knights CEO, Matt Gidley.