Newcastle Knights have moved to strengthen their backrow depth by signing Jack Johns on a development contract for next season.
Johns, the son and nephew of club legends Matt and Andrew Johns, has spent the past two seasons with South Sydney after coming up through the junior ranks at the Knights.
Now 23, he played 24 games for the Knights' Holden Cup in 2017 and represented Italy in the World Cup later that year.
Formally a five-eighth, he was used in the backrow at the Rabbitohs, making his NRL debut last season in round 11 against the Canberra Raiders.
Knights footy general manager Danny Buderus welcomed the return of Johns.
"Jack has developed both physically and as a footballer, while being a much different shape to Matty and Andrew," he said.
"His transition into a ball-playing backrower with good footwork will provide a skill set which adds to the depth of our squad."
The development deal will tie Johns to the Knights until at least the end of the 2021 season.
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