Playmaker Mason Lino has ended a two year stint at the Newcastle Knights after signing a long-term contract with Wakefield Trinity in the English Super League.
Lino 26, will link with Wakefield on a three-year deal starting next season, his manager Stan Martin told the Newcastle Herald.
After playing 17 top grade games with the Knights over the past two seasons, Lino was not offered a new top tier contract by the club for 2021.
But Newcastle officials were happy to keep him on board in their second tier as a back-up if he failed to earn a contract elsewhere.
The former Warriors player was brought to the club in 2019 by coach Nathan Brown to boost the club's halfback stocks.
He played 12 NRL games in his first season and but there was talk of him being offered to rival clubs at the end of that season. There were also opportunities for him to go to England then.
But Lino opted to remain in Newcastle for the final year of his contract to play under Adam O'Brien in a bid to push for a new NRL deal. He failed to get a look in for the opening 15 rounds before finally getting his chance in the Knights' round 16 clash against the Warriors.
He played the final five games in the competition at five-eighth alongside Mitchell Pearce in the halves, only to be dumped for the club's elimination semifinal against South Sydney.
While he struggled defensively in the NRL, he proved himself one of the competition's most astute goal-kickers, landing 48 of 55 attempts for the Knights over the two years at a success rate of 87 percent. But his 17 games for the Knights yielded just six wins.
Meanwhile, the Knights have confirmed the signing of North Queensland Cowboys five-eighth Jake Clifford on a two-year deal from 2022.
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