It's not often a club sneaks under the guard of Craig Bellamy's Melbourne Storm for the signature of a player the NRL powerhouse desperately wants.
But it happened last week when the Knights' snared teenage English Super League recruit Dominic Young on a three year deal.
The highly-rated Young, who stands an imposing 198 cms [6 ft 6] tall and weighs 106 kgs, will link with the club next season.
His signing is a real coup for Knights recruitment boss Alex McKinnon, who pinched him from right under Melbourne's nose.
We're told the Storm thought they had the giant Huddersfield centre/winger virtually signed, sealed and delivered.
Their recruitment boss Paul Bunn, largely responsible for putting Melbourne's current elite squad together, had been going back and forth with Young and his family over a long period of time in a bid to get the deal over the line.
We're not sure if he was even aware but at the same time, McKinnon was forming a strong bond with Young's father. In the end, the 18-year-old opted for Newcastle and the Knights.
Knights coach Adam O'Brien described Young as "a really good get from Alex" after confirming the Storm's strong interest.
"Melbourne thought they had him and weren't happy to find out Alex had built a relationship with the father," O'Brien told us.
"We have watched a fair bit of tape on him. He's a monster - he is just big, fast and strong and looks to be a great athlete. The kid had the chance to play rugby, NFL - a lot of codes have been pretty impressed by him.
"He's still young and the sooner we get him out here to develop him the better. He's not coming out here to play first grade next year but given his size and physicality, it's not something that I'd discount.
"We'll have to wait and see but he certainly looks a real prospect for us."
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The signing of Young, who debuted in the Super League when he was still only 17, will come at the expense of Tautau Moga, who won't be re-signed by the club for next season after three injury-prone years.
It's a fair bet Bradman Best will be sick of the sight of hospitals by the end of the year.
The powerhouse teenage centre has already been in for two surgeries in 2020. Now we understand he has already been booked in for a third operation at the end of the year.
The latest surgery was a syndesmosis ankle repair on Tuesday which has him racing the clock to get back on the field before the end of the season.
Earlier this year, he had an operation to repair a fracture and a torn tendon in his left foot. X-rays at the time revealed he had an extra bone on the side of his foot which was removed during the surgery. Only 0.5 percent of the population have the extra bone.
But this column has learned Best has the same extra bone in his other foot and will have to go in again for surgery at the end of the season to have it removed as well.
He's been told there is a high probability he will have the same problem as he had on his left foot if the bone is not taken out.
There was talk of having the bone removed at the same time as the syndesmosis surgery earlier this week but that would have definitely meant he would not get back on the field this year.
Barney's 'Barry Beath'
Mitch Barnett's reputation as an enforcer is growing every week on the field.
But that didn't stop teammates having a laugh at his expense this week after he had a tooth knocked out in some friendly fire by Gehamat Shibasaki against the Tigers.
"All the boys think it's pretty funny Barney is now talking with a lisp," prop David Klemmer told us.
King making case
Josh King is off-contract at the end of the season but he has plenty of support within the club to land a new deal.
Highly respected among the playing group, he a great clubman and a hard worker with his attitude at training even when he wasn't getting a game not going unnoticed by the coaching staff.
His performances off the bench over the past couple of weeks will only help his cause.
There is still doubt over what the salary cap will look like and squad numbers could be reduced next year. But with Herman Ese'ese and Tim Glasby both going, re-signing King should be a no-brainer.
Muir chasing job prospect
Former Knight Adam 'Hurtsy' Muir has been doing it tough after undergoing surgery to replace both his knees in the past fortnight.
The 1997 premiership-winner, who is among the club's greatest forwards, had been struggling health-wise following the operation when he was put back in hospital last Sunday after developing two blood clots in his lungs.
He's now on the mend but once recovered, won't be returning to his underground mining job.
He's looking to take on a new career so if any employer can help him out, drop us an email and we'll pass on his details.
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