The nib Newcastle Knights are pleased to confirm Dane Gagai will return to the Club in 2022 on a three-year deal.
The current Queensland Origin centre and 2017 Wally Lewis Medal winner, Gagai has established himself as one of the best outside backs in the NRL over the course of his career, which has now spanned 11 seasons.
The 30-year-old has 19 caps for his state, claiming four series wins. He has also represented Australia on seven occasions, including a starting spot in the 2017 World Cup winning team.
With 221 NRL games to his name, Gagai brings both experience and x-factor to an already strong backline.
Gags is coming home
The securing of his signature marks the end of a long period of speculation on his future, with Gagai opting to return to the Hunter despite a raft of interest from other Clubs.
His family already own a house in the area and have long considered the region as a second home.
Head of Recruitment, Clint Zammit, said he couldn’t wait to see what Gagai could do for the Club over the next three seasons.
“Dane is a very good player who has enjoyed success at every level of this game,” Zammit said.
“He brings experience to our outside backs, which will not only benefit us on the field, but also help with the development of our younger players who will learn from both playing and training alongside him.
“He improves our squad, and we are excited to see him back at the club.”
Standing at 182cm and sporting a 91kg frame, Gagai is a proven match-winner with 66 NRL tries and 19 in the representative arena.
A dual All-Star with both Indigenous and Maori heritage, Gagai played 128 games for the Knights between the 2012 and 2017 seasons, scoring 29 tries and establishing himself as a true game-breaker.
The Mackay junior cut his teeth in the Broncos system before his stint with the Knights, debuting in 2011 after representing the Junior Kangaroos the year prior.
He spent the last four seasons at South Sydney, where he has featured in three straight preliminary finals.
General Manager of Football Danny Buderus, who played with Gagai in the 2012 and 2013 seasons, said his quality and experience will be a tremendous asset for the Club moving forward.
“We couldn’t be happier to secure Dane’s signature,” Buderus said.
“Having played with Dane, I know exactly what he’s going to bring to the group. His representative experience and talent are close to unmatched in his position.
“He’s full of quality both as a person and as a player.
“I know he will positively impact the entire group, with his personality and knowledge helping to develop young players into senior leaders.”
Gagai’s new deal will see him tied to the Club until at least the end of the 2024 season.