Nothing like a little planning for the future.
The Newcastle Knights have made no secret of their desire to lure prop Tevita Pangai Junior away from the Brisbane Broncos for the 2019 NRL season.
Pangai is just 22 years old and has started the Telstra 2018 NRL Premiership competition in top form and he played a key role in the round two win over the North Queensland Cowboys. Play well in that game and you may never have to buy another pint or meal in Newcastle.
Pangai played some junior football for the Newcastle Lions, so the Knights are well acquainted with his ability from his time as a representative for the club in the Harold Matthews Cup. He already has some professional experience from playing in the lower levels for the Canberra side.
“He’s a Newcastle junior, and he’s good mates with Sione (Mata’utia) and a few of the boys,” Knights coach Nathan Brown told media on Wednesday.“He’s certainly the type of player that we’d like to add to our roster.Whether there’s any legs in it or not, I suppose the Broncos would love to keep him, and generally the Roosters are keen on good players, aren’t they?”
For Pangai, this might amount to a situation of the highest bidder securing his services and most of the clubs in the NRL would welcome an opportunity to talk with him, so barring injury, the future seems bright for the young man from Ashfield, NSW.
Pangai Junior made the news recently when he announced his decision to turn down a chance to play for the NSW Blues at Origin in order to play for Tonga, something that seems to be trending of late.
Pangai could slot in for the Knights as a replacement for Jacob Lillyman or Chris Heighington, both of whom are off contract at the end of the 2018 NRL season, but Pangai has expressed a desire to play for Coach Wayne Bennett, which could result in his staying with the Broncos.