Newcastle lower grade fullback Nick Meaney is poised to join teammate Jack Cogger at the Bulldogs next season with his path in the NRL at the Knights blocked by Kalyn Ponga.
Meaney 20, is yet to sign a contract with Canterbury but the Knights are resigned to losing him to a lucrative three year deal, with the Dogs moving quickly to shore up a replacement for the departing Moses Mbye.
The Knights were hoping to retain the Ballina junior, who is yet to play in the NRL, and made an offer to keep him at the club but sources claim his deal to go to the Bulldogs was far superior.
He played NSW Under 20’s Origin last season and has been player of the year in the NYC and NSW Cup over the past couple of seasons.
Knights coach Nathan Brown said the club would have been happy for Meaney to stay but can understand his reasons for going.
“He is a great young kid Nick and a very good player but he wants to play fullback and we have a pretty good one here at the club right now,” he said.
“I can understand why he has made the decision and it is pretty much the same reason why Jack [Cogger] is going as well.
“They want the opportunity to play first grade in their rightful positions which is hard for them here when Mitch [Pearce] and Kalyn are blocking their way.”
Brown said Meaney, who returned last weekend in NSW Cup after three months on the sideline following ankle surgery, was a definite chance of making his NRL debut at the Knights before he departs.
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