Wayne Bennett says he has missed out on the signing of Kai Pearce-Paul after revealing the Wigan Warriors star is heading to the Newcastle Knights instead.
Bennett is attempting to bolster his Dolphins squad for their inaugural 2023 NRL campaign. He is targeting players in Super League and it would appear that Pearce-Paul is on his list. However the Knights have won the day according to Bennett.
The 21-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to the Knights. They are not the only interested club though. As many as five from the NRL have been linked and the Dolphins are clearly one of them.
Wayne Bennett lets cat out of the bag
The second-rower is heading to Newcastle though for the start of 2023 if Bennett is to be believed. A deal has yet to confirmed but the super coach has let the cat out of the bag.
“We’ve talked to a number of new players in the UK but he’s gone to Newcastle as far as I understand,” Bennett said when asked about Pearce-Paul.
The Knights are known to be targeting Super League once again as they look to strengthen. And Pearce-Paul along with Huddersfield’s Will Pryce are reported to be among the targets.
Newcastle have been buoyed by the success of Bailey Hodgson and Dominic Young and could swoop again. Hodgson signed from the Castleford Tigers, Young the Huddersfield Giants, and both have starred.
The Newcastle Herald has previously reported that talks are ongoing. They claimed that the Knights are well down the line with talks over a double swoop. But it is Pearce-Paul who could be the first to sign.
Pearce-Paul is currently on the sidelines with injury. He tore ligaments in his knee in Wigan’s Challenge Cup win over Salford and is facing months out of action.
Pearce-Paul set for Newcastle
That is not putting off the Knights, who are still pushing ahead trusting that the youngster will make a full recovery. And all being well he will do in time for the 2023 NRL season.
Bennett dropped the news as he addressed the media earlier this week. The Dolphins coach also confirmed he wants Herbie Farnworth from the Broncos. The Englishman faces a choice between staying with Brisbane or making the switch to Redcliffe for 2023.
Tevita Pangai is also a target however reports claim he will stay with the Canterbury Bulldogs. He is tied to a three-year deal and has told the Bulldogs he intends to honour it.