Newcastle land Australian centre for 2022

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Newcastle have signed Australian centre Jesse Dee from Queensland Cup side Mackay Cutters for the 2022 Championship season.

The 27-year-old joins Thunder having made 17 appearances for the Cutters in 2021, where he played in the forward pack. In addition, he made his first professional steps with Illawarra Cutters in the New South Wales Cup.

Dee has joined Newcastle on a one-year deal, with the north east club going full-time ahead of next year.

On his move to Newcastle, Dee said: “I spoke with Eamon (O’Carroll) and he told me a bit about the club and the ambitions it had, which are exciting.

“I was thinking about a switch to England and there were a few clubs at home that were interested in me. But that conversation made me keen to come.

“I’m looking forward to getting back to a full-time environment which I had with Illawarra and that has been a big sell. Being full-time is good for bonding as a team and for working on combinations. I’m coming across as an edge so getting combinations working is something I want to work on.

“Newcastle sounds like a great city, Eamon has said good things and so has my manager. They’ve told me about the good vibes and good people and I’m looking forward to getting across in December.”

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Newcastle coach delighted to secure services of Jesse Dee

Thunder coach Eamon O’ Carroll: “I’m really pleased we have Jesse on board. He is a versatile and experienced player who is going to fit in well with our group.

“He’s coming over after playing at a high standard in Australia. That experience is going to be really valuable to us next season.

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“Jesse can play a range of positions but is coming to us as a centre. He is going to be a great mentor for some of our young lads coming through.

“When we found out that he was looking to come over to the UK, I got in touch with Setamata Sa, Aaron Herimia and Tyrone McArthy to get some feedback on Jesse. From which, we were really keen to get him over to Thunder.

READ MORE: Championship ins and outs for 2022: Signings and retentions club-by-club

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