International NRL forward hits open market following release from club

Josh McAllister
Jack Johns, NRL

Jack Johns of the Knights runs on to the field for the NRL Round 15 match between Newcastle Knights and New Zealand Warriors. Photo by AAP Image/Darren Pateman.

NRL forward Jack Johns looks set to hit the open market for 2024 after Newcastle Knights confirmed 10 departures at their end-of-year awards night. 

The Italy international, who featured at the 2017 World Cup Down Under, has become a free agent with his future yet to be confirmed.

Johns, 25, returned to hometown and former club Newcastle Knights in 2021 after two seasons with South Sydney Rabbitohs, where he made just two first team appearances.

The versatile back-rower first represented the Knights in 2017 in the New South Wales Cup before being handed his first NRL chance with the Rabbitohs.

He was upgraded to the Newcastle’s top 30 squad for the 2022 season, making three appearances and featuring five more times this year.

Son of NRL legend Matthew Johns, the forward will leave Newcastle at the expiry of his contract with his future unknown.

Brother Cooper Johns of Manly Sea Eagles has also been linked with an exit with the playmaker also on the search for a new club for 2024.

Newcastle Knights confirm 10 departures

Newcastle Knights confirmed nine more departures at their end-of-year awards, including English starlet Bailey Hodgson. The 21-year-old former Castleford Tigers youngster failed to make his first team debut with his three years hampered by injuries.

He featured 16 times in the New South Wales Cup, having made his Super League debut against Hull KR aged just 18 in 2020.

England international Dom Young will make the switch to Sydney Roosters for 2024 under Trent Robinson, having broke Newcastle’s club record for most tries in the regular season with 23.

Lachlan Fitzgibbon and Lachlan Miller will make the switch to Super League with Warrington and Leeds respectively, while Huddersfield Giants target Adam Clune has also had his departure confirmed.

Kurt Mann looks set to join Canterbury Bulldogs next season. The other three players that the Knights have confirmed to be departing once the season is complete are Hymel Hunt, Simi Sasagi and Dane Aukafolau.