Former Knights Coming Home

Two Novocastrians will return home next season to continue their NRL careers with the Newcastle Knights, after agreeing to terms with the club overnight.

Former Cronulla and Penrith First Grader, Paul Franze will turn full circle after signing a two-year deal.

A Raymond Terrace junior, the 24-year-old toured with the Junior Kangaroos and made his First Grade debut for the Sharks in Round 6 of the 2002 season against the Knights.

A strong, hard running centre, Franze has recently returned from England after a year of Premiership Rugby with London Irish and a stint with English Rugby League club, Castleford Tigers.

"It's great to be coming home with the opportunity to resume my career where it all began. Next season can't come soon enough," Franze said.

Franze will be joined by current Rabbitohs Fullback/Centre and former Kurri junior, Todd Polglase, who has also agreed to terms for at least two years.

Cessnock born Polglase left Newcastle to join the Bulldogs in 2002, also making his First Grade debut against the Knights at EnergyAustralia Stadium. (Round 20, 2002)

He departs the Rabbitohs after three seasons at Redfern to return to his former club.

"Having Newcastle players represent their home town holds intrinsic value for the Knights as a football club," said Newcastle Knights Operations Manager, Stephen Crowe.

"Most of our current First Grade team is made up of local products and next year this percentage will, in all likelihood, grow."

"We have some outstanding young players, particularly in our Jersey Flegg (u/20) level, and I would expect some of those players, along with the likes of Todd Polglase and Paul Franze, to play a major role in our 2007 campaign," said Crowe.

Meanwhile, Premier League powerhouse, Jesse Royal has secured his future with the Newcastle Knights, re-signing for a further two seasons.

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