Both sides happy: Unwanted Knight Saifiti now looks Dragons-bound | The Sporting Base

Both sides happy: Unwanted Knight Saifiti now looks Dragons-bound

July 11, 2024

Both sides happy: Unwanted Knight Saifiti now looks Dragons-bound

Unwanted Knight Daniel Safiti is all but ready for a St George Illawarra switch after meeting with Dragons coach Shane Flanagan, with Newcastle expected to chip in on the big-money prop’s pay.

Newcastle has been forced to make several roster cuts as the club looks to dig its way out of a huge salary cap hole and ex-Blues forward Daniel Safiti is on the chopping block.

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The Dragons have been on the lookout for a big body they could plug into their forward pack for months now and Safiti, who is still just 28 and played State of Origin as recently as 2021, fits that target to a tee. While the Knights paying him $850,000 may not fit his current playing form, he shapes as a bargain buy for Flanagan.

That signing success would only be helped on by rumours that Safiti’s next contract is going to be paid for in part by the Knights. The Sporting Base has heard he may earn around $600,000 a season, with the Knights paying as much as a third.

That still saves Newcastle $500,000 as they look to repair their tattered list.

The Hunter club would, of course, try to avoid paying Safiti anything but does still have him signed through to 2026, meaning they would face paying $1.6 million over two years if he doesn’t leave.

Safiti’s injection in the Red V pack would see Blake Lawrie make way. The incoming 28-year-old star would then play in a rotation with Hame Sele, Jack de Belin (who just re-signed for 2025), and Francis Molo. Young guns Viliami Fifita and Toby Couchman are expected to slowly get more minutes as Flanagan’s reign continues too.

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Nothing has been signed yet, but with little interest coming elsewhere in the league, the Dragons are very much in the driver’s seat to take Safiti off the Knights’ hands in a win for both.

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