Knights legend Kurt Gidley says it will be a privilege and honour to represent the club again in the NRL Nines in Perth after confirming an approach by coach Adam O'Brien to make a comeback.
Gidley still has to jump through a couple of medical hoops with the NRL before his return is officially rubber-stamped but he is excited at the prospect of wearing the red and blue again for the first time since he farewelled the club back in 2015.
"There's still some stuff to be ticked off in the next day or two with the NRL but provided that's all good, I'll be pulling on the jersey again which I'll be pretty proud of," Gidley said.
With O'Brien set to overlook many of his big names, including skipper Mitchell Pearce, and take a young 18-man squad to Perth for the tournament on February 14 and 15, the experience of 37-year-old Gidley should provide a huge boost.
"Kurt's one of the greats of the club so just his presence around the boys will be inspirational for them all,"a Knights insider said.
"He's also kept himself in great shape and looks almost as fit as he's ever been so he'll be a force on the field as well."
Gidley last donned the red and blue back in 2015.
He played 16 seasons at the top level with Newcastle and is behind only Danny Buderus  as the most capped Knight of all time after playing 251 NRL games for the club, 123 as captain.
He finished his career with a further 55 games for Warrington and played in a Challenge Cup final before retiring at the end of the 2017 season.
Gidley revealed the initial invitation to play in the Nines came from O'Brien a few weeks ago after he had been asked to speak to some of the club's younger players.
"Adam text me afterwards to thank me for coming in for a chat with the younger boys and then asked if I would be interested in playing [in the Nines]," he said.
"I'd spoken to Bobcat [Andrew Ryan] recently as well and I know he had the same invitation from the Bulldogs so I was keen as well to be a part of it.
"Obviously seeing what Freddy [Brad Fittler] did a few years ago when he played in the Nines and Beaver [Steve] Menzies - it's always a proud moment to pull the jersey on with the badge again that's for sure."
Gidley is confident his fitness won't be a major issue with the former Knights captain still training regularly most mornings with ex-Knights stars including Buderus, Paul Harragon, Mark Hughes, Steve Crowe, Jarrod O'Doherty and Gidley's brother Matt.
"Fitness was probably always one of my stronger points when I was playing and I always enjoyed it so I wasn't going to stop doing it when I finished playing," he said.
"But just being back in a team environment is something I'm looking forward to. I always love talking to the next generation because I guess I've been in their shoes and I've learnt plenty along the way and had some really good mentors.
"I get a real kick out of going back and passing on some advice and knowledge and some experience. It's a great opportunity to be back involved in that team environment where I might be able to share some of my past experiences and answer some questions."
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