After being granted an early release by the St George Illawarra Dragons, Kurt Mann will return to the Newcastle Knights, his hometown club.
The Knights deal for Mann is for three seasons as they round out their roster ahead of the 2019 season.
The Knights aim is to utilise Mann’s versatility as often as possible, with an eye on him making a more permanent move to hooker.
“We identified Kurt as a player of interest quite some time ago,” Coach Nathan Brown said.
“We believe Kurt has the potential to become a hooker and his ability to play a range of positions is an added bonus in today’s game.
“Kurt expressed a desire to secure a regular position and he’ll be given every opportunity to do that.”
Having played SG Ball and NYC at the Knights and coming through their ranks, Mann is pleased to have the chance to return.
“I’m really excited to return to the Club,” Mann said.
“It all began for me in Newy. I left Queensland as a young kid and was fortunate enough to play SG Ball and 20s for the Knights.
“It’s a homecoming of sorts. I can’t wait to meet everyone and get to work.”
For the Dragons, they admitted that, in the end, Mann received a better offer that they could not match.
“We have been in dialogue with Kurt and his management for a long period of time,” Millward said.
“He was offered a long-term contract and more security in regards to his playing minutes and being a starting player.
“We understood his desires regarding this, one he’s been persistent about it.”
As for his time at the Dragons, Mann thanked the fans for their hospitality over the last three seasons.
“I want to thank the Dragons and its members and fans for all their support over the past three years – it has meant so much to have worn the Red V jumper,” Mann said.
“I am also very appreciative to the Dragons for allowing me the opportunity to shore up my long-term future in the NRL by agreeing to release me.
“It wasn’t an easy decision as I’ve formed many lifelong friendships over the years I’ve spent at the Dragons, and I wish them all the best in the coming season.”